Today's Sounders training session included a scrimmage against the Pierce County-based Sounders U-23.
Here is some of what coach Sigi Schmid had to say after:
(On the scrimmages today...) "It was good. We want to get them back into the rhythm of playing, so we wanted to bring out our U23's and mix and match-play was important for us. You want to make sure the first time you get thumped or first time you get thrown to the ground isn't in the Montreal game. We had a little bit of that here today, but it was good. We had some good ball movement early, and it's good for the guys to get 50 minutes in."
(On Josh Ford and Steve Zakuani playing today...) "It was good. It was the first time Josh has been able to jump into a game situation for us. Obviously he got scored against but it was a good goal. He did alright. He handled stuff well. Steve did alright. There was a little more defensive work for him because his team didn't have the ball as much, so that was good. He got into it a little bit with Zach Scott and Jeff Parke, so that's good for him as well."
(On the Sounders U23's...) "Obviously they've done well. I know they've moved to the top of their division and they've had three wins in a row. A lot of the kids are kids that have come out of our academy and some of the other kids they've invited in have done very well, so it's good for them to get good results. It was good for them to come out today against us, too, so they could see exactly where they are in comparison to that level."
(On how his team is responding after the four-day break...) "When you have a break it always takes you a little bit of time to get back into the rhythm and into the groove of what you're doing. Generally, teams stutter a little bit when they come back from those breaks. Every team has done the same sort of thing. They've taken breaks at different times and come back a little bit earlier to training. Some because of Open Cup games-like ourselves-took the break a little later. It's going to be similar for everybody. I'm pleased. We wanted to train some obviously on the first day to get guys back into the rhythm, and we wanted to do more today, which we did. We want to be able to get some training in tomorrow. Thursday, because us going to Montreal ends up being a lost day because with flights and connections and going through customs and everything else, we'll be lucky if we can get into a gym and get something done in the gym. That's probably all we'll get to do on Thursday, so we really wanted to get three days of good work before we left on Thursday, and we're well on our way to that."
(On the team's depth after playing two U.S. Open Cup matches...) "Certainly it became a very good period of time, especially with the Open Cup games for [Alex] Caskey, Andy Rose, and Cordell Cato to prove their mettle and what they can do. The teams saw what they can do. Obviously, those players gained confidence with their performances, but the rest of the players also gained confidence in those players based on what they saw. It's definitely a more comforting time than what it was maybe the last time, just because you kind of have an idea now of what those guys can do."
(On when he sees Michael Gspurning returning...) "We're easy with him on this week, but we'll start to ramp him up again next week. It's only when we start ramping him up that we'll have an idea of when he'll actually be back."