Here’s the daily training report from the Sounders in Spain:
Clouds parted and a warm sun emerged as the team stepped off the bus for the morning session. Featured in the 75 minutes was a 9 v 9 + 1 game with three small goals on each end. The drill addressed changing the point of attack and, defensively, shifting quickly once the ball is switched. The session concluded with a shooting drill emphasizing playing balls into space, getting a quality first touch and shooting quickly.
Orange team: Gonzalez, Marshall, Hurtado, Riley, Ljungberg, Sturgis, Alonso, Estrada, Montero
Blue team: Wallace, Parke, Wahl, Scott, King, Perdido, Vagenas, Zakuani, Neagle
The 80-minute afternoon session in ideal conditions began with fitness work, followed by a 20-minute 11 v 11 on the full field and finally a 5 v 5 half-field game with additional players behind the attacking goal and along each sideline. The 11 v 11 finished 1-1, with Tye Perdido sliding into a Lamar Neagle cross to put the orange ahead. Freddie Ljungberg slipped a short through ball to Steve Zakuani for the blue’s equalizer.
Blue team: Keller, Gonzalez, Marshall, Hurtado, Riley, Zakuani, Sturgis, Alonso, Estrada, Ljungberg, Montero
Orange team: Eylander, Wallace, Parke, Wahl, Scott, Fucito, King, Vagenas, Neagle, Graham, Perdido,
Michael Fucito returned to full training beginning with the morning session. He has been recovering from a left hamstring strain. Taylor Graham participated in the afternoon full session. He had also been restricted due to a left hamstring strain.
The Seattle reserves will play Midtjylland of Denmark in a 60-minute training game on Wednesday morning. There will also be an afternoon training session. The final La Manga Cup match for Sounders FC is Thursday at 6 a.m. (PT) against SK Brann of Norway.
Quotes from head coach Sigi Schmid:
On Steve Zakuani’s return to game action) It will take him awhile to get used to the game again because the game’s always different than practice. It was good to get him back on the field. There will be another big jump from his performance against Stabaek to the next time he gets on the field, which will be (Wednesday).
On the effort of injured players to get back into action) Everybody feels like they’re ready to go. That’s their job; they’re job is to tell us, ‘I’m ready, I ‘m ready. I’m sitting here and I’m ready.’ I expect that of players. I expect players to provide for the team, that they want to get back on the field. Whether Fucito or Graham or any of the guys coming off injuries who are now ready to go makes a big difference.
On the status of Fucito and Graham) Fucito was back in full training today so we look to see him on Wednesday and possibly on Thursday as well. We’ll see how he reacts to Wednesday. In terms of Taylor Graham, he did some work with us today. I don’t know if he’s going to get into any games while we’re here, but hopefully he’ll be able to get full on training tomorrow and Thursday.
On having two more players ready) We always want extra bodies. Obviously Sanna took a little bit of an injury here, so were’ hoping he can come back again soon. It’s preseason so you still want to be careful you don’t push somebody beyond, where maybe if it was during the regular season you might put someone into a game right now. So you want to make sure they recover and they get healthy. But it’s always great to have extra bodies.
On training session emphasis) Defensively, we were making sure that guys got inside, that they defended in two-thirds the width of the field, rather than all three thirds. When the ball’s in the far third in the one channel, we want to make sure everybody’s across into those two channels when the ball is switched over. Obviously there’s always offense involved. We were trying to switch the point of attack so that our defense would have to shift. I was dropping an extra ball in so that they everybody would have to react to a ball that’s really out of position and seeing how quickly can we react and not fall asleep.
Throw-ins: SK Brann finished fifth in Norway’s first top division last season and won the title in 2007… Three players were limited in their training participation: Patrick Ianni (left osteitis pubis), Roger Levesque (left ankle sprain) and Sanna Nyassi (left groin pain)…Tyson Wahl celebrated his 26th birthday on Wednesday with cake and his teammates singing to him following the team dinner…The La Manga Cup final on Friday pits Norway’s Molde FK against Denmark’s FC Nordsjalland.
Players presently training in La Manga:
Goalkeepers (4): Derby Carillo, Chris Eylander, Kasey Keller, Patrick Lane
Defenders (11): Leo Gonzalez, Taylor Graham, John Kennedy Hurtado, Patrick Ianni, Tyrone Marshall, Jeff Parke, James Riley, Zach Scott, Nathan Sturgis, Tyson Wahl, Jamel Wallace
Midfielders (8): Osvaldo Alonso, Michael Fucito, Stephen King, Freddie Ljungberg, Lamar Neagle, Sanna Nyassi, Rayner, Peter Vagenas
Forwards (5): David Estrada, Roger Levesque, Fredy Montero, Tye Perdido, Steve Zakuani