The Sounders trained today at CenturyLink Field. Their first training session here in a while. Coach Sigi Schmid said it was a light enough workout where the artificial surface shouldn't take much of a toll on his team's legs, while also reminding them of the way the surface will play Monday when they return for the decisive leg of their series against FC Dallas.
"We don’t train on turf very much, and it has been a while," coach Sigi Schmid said. "We knew today was going to be a little bit of a lighter training and more skill work. We wanted to do it on the turf because you’ve got to strike a ball differently, the way you hit crosses and so forth. That’s why … we’re doing a lot of crossing now, so they get used to striking the ball off this surface, and we did a lot of two-touch passes so the guys were used to playing balls off this surface. Just another day of familiarity, and we’re far enough out that the soreness that comes from playing on turf is out of your body by the time we play."
The Sounders played on a field still cluttered with Seahawks gridiron markings, however, Schmid said those will be removed after the Sunder NFL game with the New York Giants and before the first kick of the FC Dallas visit.
"It’s the reason the game’s on Monday," he said. "If we would have played on Saturday, then the football lines would have been there. Or Friday, then the football lines would have been there. So the whole idea behind playing on Monday is that they would be able to remove the lines."
In terms of health, Schmid said Gonzalo Pineda ran today, and could rejoin training tomorrow, working back from a lower-body muscle injury that kept him out of Game 1. Also out today was Marco Pappa, with cold/flu symptoms.
Here is Schmid's overview on the game to come:
It’s a situation where it’s halftime. It’s halftime and the score is 1-1, but we’re coming into out field and we’re at home, so we’re anxious and excited about that. We know that Dallas – and Dallas knows – that they’ve got to score if they’ve going to have a chance of doing anything.
That maybe puts a little more pressure on them, maybe means that the game is a little more open for us to attack them because they’ve got to take some risks at times going forward. But I’ve been happy with how we’ve defended. Defense wins championships, and we’ve got to continue to defend well. Offensively, although they had more possession, I think when you look at clean chances we had more clean chances than they did. So obviously if we can finish some of those clean chances, especially early, then we can put a whole different tone on the game.