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Sounders wet, Keller honored, Zakuani satisfied

Post by Don Ruiz / The News Tribune on March 31, 2009 at 2:46 pm with No Comments »
March 31, 2009 2:46 pm

The Sounders practiced in a few coolish rain showers today at Starfire. They made a rare move over to the grass field — even though Toronto’s BMO Field has an artificial surface — mostly just to give a break to the player’s bodies. Turf — even FieldTurf — is more wearing on the legs and joints, almost every player in every sport agrees.


A few other notes:


* Sounders goalkeeper Kasey Keller said he takes his selection as MLS player of the week as an honor for the entire defense, which has now gone 180 minutes without allowing a goal. "This is more I think a team-shared honor from the first game, the second game, just being the only team that hasn’t conceded a goal yet," he said. "We take a lot of pride in that as a team. It’s a responsibility of everyone and I’m basically accepting the award for everybody."


* Freddy Ljungberg and Nate Sturgis, who made their Sounders’ debuts Saturday after missing the opener with injuries, both apparently came through the game fine and if that continues each could see their minutes extended in Toronto.


“We’ll see how this week progresses in training,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “I’ll see how Freddie feels. He’s played today and see how he feels. Obviously we want to up his minutes. … Sturgis played a good role for us and made sense. Nate we tried to be a little bit cautious with today, but he said he felt good.”


* Schmid said he was more pleased with his team’s 2-0 win over Salt Lake after watching on tape than he had been watching it live. You might remember from my Sunday game story that Schmid didn’t think his team played well with the lead. By Tuesday he was more pleased, although not quite a pure 180.


“It’s just that we gave the ball away at times when we shouldn’t have given it away so we forced ourselves to defend a whole lot more than we needed to,” he said. “We need to hold on to the ball a little bit better. We need to know is now the time to go forward or is now the time to keep it for a little bit. I thought when Freddie came on and when Nate Sturgis came on we did a little better job of holding onto the ball the last 20 minutes of the game especially.”


* The highlight of that game might have been the opening goal, in which Steve Zakuani juked his defender and then sent a pass across the goal mouth to teammate Nate Jaqua, who redirected the ball into the net. Zakuani said that assist he found that assist more satisfying than actually putting the ball into the net himself.


“When you can put the ball in someone’s path where they can just tap it in the goal, I think it can be more satisfying at times,” he said. “It’s a team game at the end of the day, and when we score we celebrate as a team. You win as a team, so for me, I think I prefer assists to goals.”

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