Sounders FC begins its MLS Reserve League season at 11 a.m. Monday at Vancouver.
Here’s some of an interview with Ezra Hendrickson, the Sounders assistant coach who coaches the reserves:
Overview: “It’s good to get the reserve league started again. It serves a group of guys who are not getting much time on Saturday nights or guys who maybe are coming off injuries to get games in and stay sharp. We’re kind of undermanned right now with injuries and international call ups with Babayele (Sodade) and (Cordell) Cato we only have eight guys, but we’re able to fill in with academy kids, and that’s part of their development. But the guys have been waiting and now they get their chance. They see guys like Estrada and Neagle, who started off playing with the reserve team, they got their chance and made the most of it. So it’s motivation for those guys to follow in those guys footsteps. We had a very good season last year with the reserve team — Vancouver was the only team that beat us last year. That’s what the guys have been talking about all week. They’re ready. We have some injuries, so we’re a little bit on the mend, but we’re going up there with the intention of starting off the season just as well.
On if Sounders FC depth tends to also mean a strong reserve side: A lot of our success last year was do to the fact that we were so deep. From week to week it changes: Injuries, call ups, maybe we just want to rest guys. The team changes. So as long and you can just manage personnel, and we have good personnel. So for me as coach of the reserve team, it’s all about managing the guys that I have. It helps that we’re so deep. Sometimes I look at the reserve team and think they can play with some teams in the league. It’s a benefit to have a team so deep.
The Sounders reserves play their first home game April 10 against Portland.
Here’s the full schedule.