Sounders Insider

Schmid says Sounders' expectations as high as ever

The Sounders went through a light workout today on the indoor-soccer pitches at Starfire Sports. A couple of notes:

*Midfielder Alex Caskey was not at the Monday training session and coach Sigi Schmid indicated he will not be with the Sounders this season.

DeAndre Yedlin was held out of training while nursing and ankle injury suffered Saturday in the Carolina Challenge Cup, however Schmid said Yedlin is expected to be ready for the opener.

Below is Schmid's take on the club's work leading up to this game-week preparation for Sporting Kansas City on Saturday at CenturyLink Field.

"I think preseason was good for us," he said. "Obviously we would have liked to have gotten a better result than a tie in each of our last two games, but I felt our soccer got better in each of game. … I thought we could have scored four or five goals against D.C. (Cites chances by Obafemi Martins, Kenny Cooper and Lamar Neagle). So there were some good chances and I was happy with the way we moved the ball. We’re still getting to know each other, still getting to know what the tendencies are from each player. But I liked the spirit of the team, I like their attitude."

On the Sounders' rebuilding without going through "a rebuilding year": ) "We’re Seattle: We’re unconventional. I don’t think we’re conventional. We weren’t a conventional expansion team – people say expansion teams have to get used to it and hopefully in two or three or four years you’ll make the playoffs. We were unconventional there. And it’s the same thing. We’re not a team that’s going to rebuild. We thought we needed to make some changes and change some things as we approach the game. But from the standpoint of are our expectations any less? No our expectations aren’t less. I know that puts a lot of pressure on the players, it puts a lot of pressure on myself and the rest of the staff, but that’s the way we like it. We’re always going to try to achieve the best."

On the new players fitting in together: It’s a team that’s still getting to know each other and understand each other. A Pappa trying to learn, ‘OK, where do I go when DeAndre wants to use that space on the right?’ That was something that we talked about it a lot and worked on it a little bit at practice. I thought there was some good sequences from both the left and the right when Pappa came inside looking for the ball: opened up space for Remick, opened up space for DeAndre. … Cooper did a better job I thought of playing in the hole behind Oba against D.C. That’s coming along and getting better each game as well. Lamar Neagle and Pappa switching sides – and they’re free to do that, recognizing, hey, this is a good time for me to go here. All that stuff keeps improving, and as that keeps improving, then the final pass is the cohesion. …

On having Obafemi Martins for all of training camp: I think it was good for Oba just to get a break, because it was a while for him to have a break. So getting that break – getting that off-season in – allowed him to clear a lot of thing and to rest his body, which he hadn’t really done in a long time. I think Dave Tenney has done a good job with him in the preseason. I think Oba’s done a good job working hard and getting fit. And you can see the enjoyment when he’s around the guys. He’s enjoying himself, he’s having a good time, he’s getting goal-dangerous, which is what he needs to be.

I'll be back with more from Schmid.