[caption id="attachment_48234" align="alignright" width="480"] New banner greets Sounders at Starfire.[/caption]The Sounders returned to training today at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukila, which was all decked out to greet them after their 2014 U.S. Open Cup win.
Here's some of what coach Sigi Schmid had to say afterward.
On the return to training: Today was just we’re coming back into practice after two days off. It was good for everybody to get some time off with their family and so forth. So it was a little bit of an easier day for some guys still, guys who have played a lot in the last stretch. The other guys wanted to train a little bit. That was a little bit of fun, just a reaction game. It’s a reaction game offensively and defensively, because you can score on any goal. ‘Oh, shoot, I’m on defense; now I’m on offense.’ You’re constantly going back and forth. Just a fun little game.
On Zach Scott ankle injury: Nothing broken. Nothing out of the ordinary except for a bone-on-bone contusion, because he’s got an arthritic ankle. So they took him from the crutches to the boot, today he was walking without a boot. So it’s basically just day by day how he feels, how he’s getting better. He feels a lot better today. With Zach you never know. I wouldn’t rule out the weekend with Zach. If he can improve each day like he did the last two or three, it will be good.
On the schedule shifting to one game a week: It’s really helpful. It’s not so much just the one game a week, it’s being at home. Being at home, being around the families, sleeping in their own beds, going through their routines. That’s something when you’re gone in the middle of the season the time that we were gone, that’s something that’s interrupted a little bit more than anything. I think that’s important for our team right now.
On Gonzal Pineda ankle injury: It’s hurt us because he was getting better. He was getting better, and then the twisted ankle at the New York game just as we were trying to get his yellow card out of the way, and that was a bad tackle. That hurt us a little bit, and now he’s just trying to get healthy from that. He’s making progress.
On returning to Desert Diamond Cup 2015 preseason tournament in Tucson: We had options. We had an option to go back to Charleston again – they were interested in having us. We had an option, we had been to Spain before: La Manga, that was an option for us. We don’t want to do the same thing year in year out because the guys like it if it’s a little bit different, it’s not the same routine. Last year we were at Charleston, so this year going back to the Desert Diamond Cup made sense. Depending on everything with the offseason it also made sense for us not to try and go overseas this year.