Sounders Insider

Infant Sounders progressing in baby steps

Coach Sigi Schmid ran his team through its second workout at the Seahawks training facility Thursday and saw progress from the day before.

"Each day you see a little bit more -- you see more from players," Schmid said. "Day One was a lot of energy, a lot of excitement. Today was a little bit better. Everybody has calmed down, and you start seeing people's habits come out. That's what you're looking for."

Friday will bring another important step, as the roster will be broken into 11-man teams for the first time.

In their first work on Wednesday, the Sounders participated mostly in seven-on-seven work. Today, Schmid put a couple of five-man teams on a fraction of a regular field and pulled the goals in close – forcing fast decisions in tight spaces.

"You're looking for people who quickly assess the situation, and can solve it," Schmid said. "Defensively, things happen quickly and if you hesitate for a second, the guy's inside of you and then it's a goal. Offensively, we are looking for who can assess the situation (quickly). … You're looking for people's reactions to situations."

The drill used goalkeepers: 39-year-old Kasey Keller on one end, 24-year-old Chris Eylander on the other.

Both made impressive saves. But the veteran also offered vocal leadership, which Schmid welcomed as he tries to instill a shared expectation of excellence through a new team searching for identity.

"He's certainly in command of his guys," Schmid said. "… He was demanding of them. He wasn't degrading them or anything like that, but he was very demanding of them. You have to be demanding. You're not going to win if you're not demanding of each other. All of us will get that at the end of the day."