Sounders Insider

Estrada, Johansson, Burch draw praise; No. 2 GK race unsettled

However, here are a few interesting thoughts from coach Sigi Schmid, left over from the Friday media session:

Coach Sigi Schmid

On if the rookies have to adjust from being on the college schedule) “It’s always a little more difficult because they get in their rhythm of the seasons that they’ve had in college. So now you’ve got guys that are in here, [who], by the time we get back from Florida they’re about seven games into their regular season at that point. They usually don’t hit the wall, if you want to call it that, until usually about May or June, and that’s really when they hit the wall. Right now, everything is still new, everything is still excitable and so they’re okay for right now.”

On if he’s happy with the roster trimming process so far) “Yeah. Obviously, we’re moving forward. There are a couple of guys that, even in the last group, that we liked, and we’ll keep our eyes on. We’ll keep monitoring them. We just felt, at the moment, we were okay in certain positions. But there’s still a couple of young guys that we think have potential and we’ll keep our eyes on them as we move forward.”

On if there have been any surprises in camp so far) “Anybody who plays well is always a good surprise. From that standpoint, everybody is putting in a really good effort. We’re trying to make some decisions on some players. David Estrada is a player that we’ve pushed around the field a little bit into different positions, just like Roger Levesque has, but with David we decided about a little over a week ago that we’re going to concentrate with him more up front and let him play more up front. I thought he looked pretty sharp today with the goals in tight and him being up front that game. [Adam] Johansson is acclimating and we’re happy with him. [Christian] Sivebaek missed some time when we were in Arizona because of a knee, but his knee feels good now. I thought he looked pretty sharp today. All those are good surprises because everybody’s starting to look sharp. Ozzie [Alonso] and the usual suspects have done a good job. Marc Burch, I think, scored a couple of great goals today at training. There are guys there that are pushing.”

On how national team members Brad Evans and Jeff Parke looked in Arizona) “Obviously, we have to remember that they’ve had 12 more days of training than some of our guys have had because of their earlier start. What we tried to do is we gave Evans a day off in between there a couple days. We tried to do the same with Parke. We’re going to be cognizant of that, as well, making sure they get an appropriate day off here because they’ve been at it a little bit longer. I thought from sharpness of play, they were good.”

On the race to be the number two keeper) “It’s a battle. Obviously, Josh Ford is injured right now and that’s unfortunate for Josh because I thought he did well for us last year. Bryan Meredith and Andrew Weber have performed very well, so we’re going to make some decisions here soon. It’s a very competitive situation.”

On if any new players will be joining them in Florida for a trial) “No, we’ve got to see. It depends on what agent calls us when we get there and who we can bring in. Obviously, we never stop looking—that’s the case, you found that out last year. If the right situation comes along, obviously we’ll take advantage of it and have that guy on the team. Somebody’s going to lose a spot, but that’s the way it is. It’s the pros.”