Sounders Insider

Rose, Caskey, Remick, Zakuani shine in fitness test

Here are the top five finishers in the beep test: Andy Rose (11:02), Alex Caskey, David Estrada, Marvin Angulo, Dylan Remick. (Estrada was first in 2011 with a team-record 11:46. We're told he had a bit of a toe issue this year, which caused him to run in running shoes... not that any excuses are needed for a third-place finish.)

Coach SIGI SCHMID's overview:Some of it is what you expect to see. Some if it, someone always surprises you and shows something that you didn’t expect. A little bit of it is a character test, because after it we played some soccer and we’ll see a little bit of that because when you’re tired, now guys have to depend a little bit on their decision-making because they can’t rely on their legs. Sometimes – although they don’t view it that way, because they think the beep test is all that we’re looking at – we’re looking at what the soccer’s like after the beep test because it gives us an indication who can make good decisions.

And SCHMID on individuals who did well:Obviously Remick did well – the first-year player – but that was my expectation based upon his history and his track background. He did very well. Rose and Caskey certainly stepped up and did well. I think Steve Zakuani’s time was I think the best time that he’s ever achieved. It shows that he’s come in fitter than ever before. I’m encouraged by that, so there were some good positives.

ROSE on his winning performance:"It felt good. We got a few solid weeks in with (fitness coach Dave Tenney). … Obviously it’s not that big a deal. It’s just good to show that you’re fit (in getting) ready for the season you put your hard work in. Obviously its’ nice to be a winner."

TENNEY's overview:You want to see how high the highs are, how low the lows are, which is really to see once we go to Arizona the next step is who needs more work. … I think the lows are not as low, which I think is always a positive thing. You’d like to have a group that is relatively even from top to bottom in terms of where their fitness is at. It’s sometimes more difficult if you have a huge disparity. I think we have the most even kind of group of fitness that we’ve had to this point, which I think is good. I think our bottom scores are over 90 seconds to two minutes higher than previous bottom scores, so that’s always I think a positive because the starting points are a little bit better, even if there are some individuals that have a little bit of work to do.