Sounders Insider

Birthday present for Estrada: 2-a-days

Today is the 22nd birthday of Sounders No. 1 draft choice David Estada. He gets to celebrate around the first two-a-day practices of preseason camp in Casa Grande, Ariz.

The Sounders offered this report from the morning session:

Sigi Schmid split the team into nine groups of three to start the day and they played a continuous 3v3 game on three small fields, reminiscent of a basketball game because of the tight spaces and movement away from the ball.

After that, they went to a 4v4+1 with one neutral player in each game.

With Zach Scott, Nate Jaqua, Pete Vagenas and Steve Zakuani all doing conditioning on the side during Wednesday’s evening session, only Jaqua was held off the field in Thursday’s morning session while he continues to nurse a lower abdomen injury.

The evening session is scheduled to start at 4 pm Pacific.

COACH SCHMID(On today's training) "Yesterday we played a little bit bigger. Today we wanted to play a little smaller. The rhythm of training today was going back and forth between small and big. Today was just about being competitive at the time, playing small 3v3 games, 4v4 plus 1 games, lots of shooting, goals in tight, lots of chatter and competition. There was a lot of trash talking going on out there at times. We're still trying to figure out which team Peter Vagenas was playing for, since he was a neutral player, but he seemed to be favoring the orange team. It was good. It was competitive. it allowed us to see some things that we wanted to see in regard to the players that entered our camp here, because we wanted to see things early before they compete too much. And from a fitness standpoint it was good because it was all interval based training today."

(On the importance of competitiveness) "Competition is always the spice of any team. If you're not competitive by nature, you're not going to achieve very much in this sport. And great athletes, as nice as they are somtimes away from the field, they all are very, very competitive. I know when I coached Cobi Jones, Cobi comes across as the most mellow guy off the field, but when games come on he is the most competitive guy. When I was with the Galaxy and if I wanted to wind up Cobi, I would just put him and Ezra (Hendrickson) on opposite teams. Ezra would wind up Cobi. And same thing here, if you want to wind up the team, you just put Peter Vagenas on the other team, and he is going to wind up the other team and get them going. You need competition because competition takes you beyond your boundaries because you're competitive and when you want to try to win you end up putting a little more into it than you would otherwise. Doing that raises the level of training, and when you raise the level of training you eventually raise the level of your game."