Eddie Johnson returned to training with the Sounders today (interesting interview coming), and coach Sigi Schmid said he's eager to take another look at the Johsnon-Obafemi Martins-Lamar Neagle trio on the pitch together ... perhaps with DeAndre Yedlin behind them, and perhaps even with Michael Gspurning in goal -- perhaps as soon as Saturday vs. Dallas.
Here's Schmid on the new pieces returning into place:
On Johnson-Martins-Neagle playing together: I still think the possibilities of all three of them being together makes us a better team, makes us more explosive and harder to figure out. But like I said before, there’s got to be the right balance, there’s a certain amount of ground that needs to be covered, and we’ve got to be sure that no matter who’s on the field, that ground gets covered.
On getting closer to full strenth: Yeah, I think we’re closer to it. It’s still getting games together as a group. Everybody says, ‘There they are, they’re back at full-strength, no injuries, everybody’s back out there so, boom, it should click right away from Day One.’ No, then it takes two, three games for that whole understanding again to develop. You use Mark Burch as an example: How much improvement was there in Game Two for him vs. Game One when he played wide midfielder. When he played against Colorado vs. when he played wide midfield vs. Chivas. And the guys understanding a little better about where he’s going to be, where he’s going to show. So that’s always going to take two, three games.
On Yedlin's return from tonight's All-Star game in Kansas City: We’ll have to see how many games he’s going to play (tonight). He gets back here on Thursday, so I definitely think it’s a possibility for playing. Again, if he ends up playing 90 minutes (tonight) it makes it a little bit harder, but my understanding is I don’t see him starting, necessarily, and depending on how many minutes he plays there’s a good possibility he could play Saturday.
On if he knows what keepers will be available: No. I’ll have to talk to (goalkeeper coach Tom Dutra) and see who was able to catch balls today and who wasn’t.
On if Gspurning in more likely in reserve than starting: It’s probably too early to speculate either way. It’s probably one of those things: If he’s good enough to be on the bench, he’s probably good enough to start.