However, the most important words may have been spoken by coach Sigi Schmid, who reminded that for all the Sounders have accomplished over their first two seasons, 2011 may be this core groups last chance to win something big -- Supporters Shield or MLS Cup -- or many of those familiar faces may be sent packing.
Here is Schmid's key message:
“Obviously, that (veteran core) is very important. It’s what I told the guys before we came out here to practice. I said, ‘This is year three. We have a core of players.’ We went around and said, ‘How many guys have been here now for three years?’ And there were a number of hands that got up. I said, ‘This is the year now that you have got to step forward.’ We are one of only four teams that have made the playoffs the last two years, which is a great accomplishment. We’re the first expansion team to win a trophy in each of our first two years, that’s a great accomplishment. But in four playoff games we have scored one goal so we need to score more goals in the playoffs. To score more goals in the playoffs, we need to score more goals in the regular season. To score more goals in the regular season we need to score more goals in practice. This is the year that if we don’t accomplish some of the things we feel we can accomplish then you got to start looking at breaking up that core. So, this is an important year.”
And here's our full TNT story from the first day of training.