As you may have noticed, it's a near-perfect day out there, and that made for a nice time watching Sounders training today.
After we got a brief session with coach Sigi Schmid, where he talked a bit about the practice and looked ahead to his lineups not only for Toronto on Saturday but for the U.S. Open Cup final on Wednesday at D.C.
Here was his take on today's practice and the ongoing efforts to become a better-finishing club:
"I think it's getting better," Schmid said. "Obviously, in Houston I think we had more shots and we went after them a little more. In practice, the goal Vagenas scored earlier today was a good one. Nate Jaqua's goal in Houston was a good one, because it wasn't the perfect setup but he still put the shot where he wanted to. He got the shot off, and I think that's something that you've got to continue to work on. It's important to get Montero and Nate and Zakuani and Freddie on the field at the same time. And I thought today Montero scored some great goals at practice, hitting the one goal the first time off the layback from Ljungberg. When he does stuff like that, I think it's great for us. … We're happy about the goals we scored, but we also think that we could have scored at this stage of the season probably five to 10 more if we had been a little bit better at times."
Schmid also was asked about juggling competitive lineups for league play and cup play while also getting time for his reserves.
"Sometimes injuries play a role in that," he said. "Sometimes cards play a role in that at this part of the season. Tyrone (Marshall) is one card away again, Freddie (Ljungberg) is one card away from missing. So those play a role in it as well and the rotation takes a natural progression in that way. For us, these next two games we want to put out the best lineup that we feel we can put out there. Obviously in the Open Cup game Jhon Kennedy Hurtado can't play because he's out because he got red-carded in the last game against Houston. So that means (Patrick) Ianni plays in that game for sure. For the weekend, we'll play Kennedy. … For the rest of the team, at this stage it's about trying to put out what you think is the best team in that particular week."