Sounders Insider

Schmid: 'We are closer to our starting lineup'

Here's a Tucson-training update from the club:

Seattle Sounders FC returned to Arizona on Monday afternoon for the final phase of preseason training camp. The group trained on Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning in preparation for the first match of the Desert Diamond Cup against the New England Revolution today at 4 p.m. PT at Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz. The match will be streamed live on and Sounders FC arrived in Tucson on Monday afternoon and bussed directly to the training complex. The first training session began with light warm-ups and possession work, including an 8v8 possession drill. Two players met the team in Tucson on Monday. Supplemental Draft pick Kevin Durr has been in full training both days and former French National Team center back Mikael Silvestre also joined the group. Seattle held its second training session on Tuesday morning, which included an 11v11 scrimmage. The session began with defenders working separately on their defensive shape and distribution while the attackers did finishing drills. The training ended with a full-field scrimmage where head coach Sigi Schmid developed the cohesion in his starting group for Wednesday’s match with the hope that starters can play up to 70 minutes against the Revs. Several familiar faces rejoined the group on Tuesday as Osvaldo Alonso participated in the training session and Eddie Johnson arrived later at night. Both participated in MLS marketing initiatives in Miami and New York earlier this week. Additionally, Michael Gspurning arrived on Tuesday afternoon after staying in Seattle for the birth of his second child.

Sounders FC will train on Thursday morning and Friday afternoon before playing its second match of the tournament against Real Salt Lake at 3 p.m. PT on Saturday.

Sounders FC Training Camp ParticipantsGoalkeepers (4): Josh Ford, Michael Gspurning, Marcus Hahnemann, Doug Herrick-Defenders (13): Marc Burch, Andrew Duran, Ashani Fairclough-, Leo Gonzalez, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Patrick Ianni#, Adam Johansson, Dylan Remick+, Zach Scott, Mikael Silvestre-, Djimi Traore-, DeAndre Yedlin, Eriq Zavaleta+Midfielders (14): Osvaldo Alonso, Cordell Cato, Servando Carrasco, Alex Caskey, Kevin Durr+, David Estrada, Brad Evans, Phillip Lund-, Mario Martinez, Lamar Neagle, Mauro Rosales, Andy Rose, Christian Tiffert, Steve ZakuaniForwards (6): Will Bates+, Travis Bowen-, Eddie Johnson, Sammy Ochoa, Jennings Rex+, Babayele Sodade

#Stayed in Seattle to Rehab Injury+2013 SuperDraft or Supplemental Draft Pick-Invitees Quotes from Head Coach Sigi Schmid – February 12, 2013(On Tuesday’s training session…) “We just wanted to get some more work in so we wanted to work with the back four a little bit so Ezra [Hendrickson] did that. We wanted to get some shooting in for our midfielders and our forwards. And then we just wanted to play a little bit at the end. We didn’t want to coach a lot in that. We just wanted to play because we knew after all the exercises they would want to play.” (On Brad Evans…) “It helps [to have him back] because he is one of the guys who talks within the game so it’s important. And having Ozzie back from his Miami trip and healthy again makes a difference as well for us. It’s just now a matter of them getting some game time together and playing and seeing how it all works.” (On having more players available for the team’s second preseason match…) “We are closer to our starting lineup. Obviously we want to see better possession of the ball, us holding onto it, doing a better job of defending as a group and mainly doing a better job of holding onto the ball and moving the ball.”

(On the focus on Wednesday’s game…) “It’s to keep possession of the ball, hold onto it and make sure we see our share of the ball and get our cohesion down. […] We always look for a result. We always want to win even if it’s a practice game so we are always looking for a result. We want to push some guys physically so we want to get them into the 60-70 minute range, so we want to get that part of it done. We still need to look at some players and make some decisions so we are trying to do that as well. […] Right now the emphasis is on getting the group cohesively ready but they can’t go 90 minutes so those last 30 minutes are for people to come up and show what they can do.”

(On next weeks’ stretch of three games in four days…) “We will work it out. It will be something that will work out. Obviously we want to send our first team out against Veracruz so that they get to see that style of play and more of the second team will play in the game on Saturday. The game Wednesday will be somewhat of a mix.”