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Sounders fitness numbers "significantly better"

"I was very happy. Every year we’re using this as a look at what our starting points are from a physical standpoint going into Arizona. Typically we do this three or four days before we go to Arizona and then it kind of drives our programming for Arizona. I haven’t looked exactly at all the numbers yet or done an analysis, but it appears that our team average is significantly better than it was last year. For a lot of guys, their starting points are a lot better than they were last year.

"And I think that it’s a testament hopefully to the guys and the voluntary workouts we were doing at the beginning of January. You could see it pays dividends from that. We want to start doing stuff with the ball. You look at other countries, they don’t do anything with the ball the first two weeks. It’s all running. I was thinking about that. Really, those voluntary workouts, for the most part, those end up being the two weeks without the ball that we get to skip. It helps Sigi do everything technically and tactically a lot earlier in the program."

Here was coach Sigi Schmid's overview impression:

"It sets the bar for us. It lets us know where they are in comparison to where they've been in the past few years, where we are as a team. I know I made the comment that I was not happy with a couple guys' fitness, but overall our team came through really, really well. It's probably the best one we've had so far in terms of overall from top to bottom in terms of the fitness test. There are still some guys who are mentally tough and push through it. So maybe they're quite that fit but they were mentally tough in the moment, but that's also a measure of fitness and a measure of determination."

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