Until now, my coverage of the Sounders’ Saturday lineup concentrated on the first 11, where Roger Levesque filled in for Mauro Rosales, and Zach Scott started for Adam Johansson.
However, there also were a couple of new faces among the reserves, where Alex Caskey made his first appearance, and Bryan Meredith dislodged Andrew Weber for the No. 2 goalkeeper slot.
We asked coach Sigi Schmid today about those decisions:
“Meredith has done well and has trained well, and so in our discussions (goalkeeper coach Tom Dutra’s) feeling was Meredith deserved a shot on the bench this week based on his performance during the week, so we rewarded that,” he said. “And Caskey … when we played Oregon State the other week here we thought he was our best player in that particular game, and we certainly want to reward guys when they’re playing well with the reserve team. He’s trained well, and he works hard and we want to reward all those qualities.”
We also spoke to the players:
On making the 18) It felt great. Really good to be out there. Excited to get the change to get my first 18. I was hoping to play, but hopefully soon I can get on the team, get my first debut.
On progress since last season when he was drafted by Seattle, but let go) I just used Chaleston as an opportunity to get better. I was a little off the level last year, so it was a good opportunity to get a lot of games at Charleston — I played like 20-something games – so it was good to get some gametime and then come back and challenge for a spot.
On if the Sounders said he might return) They told me they’d like for me to go to Charleston, they’d keep an eye on me, and see how my development was going, and hopefully if I improved enough be able to come back, which was good. It worked out well. … Nothing specific (to work on), just getting used to the physicality and the speed of play at the pro level. It’s a step up from college, so just getting used to everything.
On making the 18) It was fun. It was enjoyable to be at the bench and be able to watch the game, rather than in the press box. It wasn’t my first time there, so it wasn’t new, but it was enjoyable for sure.
On Dutra saying the No. 2 spot could change) That’s what he’s been telling us. Just gotta keep working hard. It’s my spot to loose now.
On his own progress) That kind of makes you work a little bit hard, makes Andrew work a little bit harder; I think it makes Mike work a little bit harder. We’re always in training here to push each other and make each other better.