Sounders Insider

33 Sounders begin training in Florida

Here's a report from the club as training gets going in Florida:

BRADENTON, Fla. – Seattle Sounders FC boarded an early morning flight on Saturday and traveled across the country for the next phase of preseason training. Sounders FC will train at the IMG Soccer Academy in Bradenton, Fla. for the next 10 days. The club also trained in Florida during the 2011 preseason. The coaching staff and 33 players were met by 40-degreee weather and a strong wind as they took the fields at IMG Soccer Academy for the first time on Sunday morning. The morning session began with a warm-up led by fitness coach Dave Tenney and a variety of passing drills. After the players were warm, the team split into two groups to play two games of 7 v 7 with four small goals. The small field games were high speed and high intensity. Head Coach Sigi Schmid then took the small goals out and played a full field pass-and-go game. All players started the drill inside a box in the midfield. After a series of passes, the team in possession played a long ball into space and an attacker released toward goal. The attacker would then try to finish 1 v 1 with the keeper. There were several variations to the drill with the focus on getting behind the defensive line and working on dropping passes back and releasing up field. The morning session ended with individual finishing drills. The afternoon session was mostly focused on finishing. The group split into four teams of six players for a 6 v 6 possession drill before crossing and finishing practice. With keepers in goal, the ball started at midfield and was played wide to either flank. The player then brought the ball up the side and served a cross to the middle where attackers would finish with no defenders. The drill progressed with added attackers, added defenders and variant passes. Four players (Alex Caskey, Leo Gonzalez, Michael Tetteh and Steve Zakuani) spent the afternoon session doing fitness work with the training staff at a local gym. Sounders FC will hold a light training session on Monday morning before playing their second training game of the 2012 preseason against Orlando City SC. The training game is scheduled for 4 p.m. local time (1 p.m. PT) and is open to the public at no charge. Visit for live blog updated during the match. Injury UpdateMidfielder Michael Tetteh rejoined the group after missing the Arizona camp to rehab a hamstring injury. Forward Mike Fucito (illness) and midfielder Christian Sivebaek (knee) were full-in for the training sessions. Midfielder Alex Caskey (concussion) participated in the first half of the morning session and then did individual endurance training. Two players stayed in Seattle to continue their rehab process: goalkeeper Josh Ford (knee) and forward O’Brian White (blood clot). Quotes from Head Coach Sigi Schmid(On returning to Florida for preseason training…) “It’s good. It doesn’t take two, three days to get used to it. It takes you about a day so they know the field again, some of the guys it’s new for them. But for a lot of the other guys they know the fields and they have been here before and so it’s just good to get going again.” (On the weather…) “That arctic low that followed us down here we’re not happy about that. Obviously the fields are good. It’s a good training environment and the sun’s coming out so it’s going to warm up.” (On the scheduled training games…) “You always look forward to games when you are playing against somebody else and you’re not playing against each other. Our emphasis now is on the games and getting a lot of fitness out of the games but also to work a lot on the tactical side of the game. That’s what we worked on today, just bringing guys into the final third of the field, working on our finishing, starting to work on those aspects of our game.” (On goals for Florida camp…) “Just that the guys get a better understanding of each other, understand how they play, where they want the ball and so forth. It’s good to see a guy like [Christian] Sivebaek in for the full training so guys can start to read him, he gets himself more integrated into the team. Just their understanding with each other and getting more and more confident and getting sharper and sharper in terms of their decision making.” Sounders FC Training Camp ParticipantsGoalkeepers: Chris Blais, *Josh Ford, Michael Gspurning, Bryan Meredith, Andrew Weber.Defenders: Marc Burch, Andrew Duran, Leo Gonzalez, Harlinton Gutierres, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Patrick Ianni, Adam Johansson, Jeff Parke, Michael Tetteh, Zach Scott.Midfielders: Osvaldo Alonso, Servando Carrasco, Alex Caskey, David Estrada, Brad Evans, Alvaro Fernandez, Roger Levesque, Lamar Neagle, Mauro Rosales, Andy Rose, Amadou Sanyang, Michael Seamon, Christian Sivebaek, Steve Zakuani.Forwards: Cordell Cato, Mike Fucito, Fredy Montero, Sammy Ochoa, Babayele Sodade, *O'Brian White. *Stayed in Seattle for Rehab