The Sounders were back at training today, including a pair of players who had spent part of the season getting game experience with other clubs.
Second-year defender/midfielder Michael Tetteh and rookie defender Andrew Duran each said they benefitted from their time loaned out to North American Soccer League clubs.
Duran, selected 15th overall in the 2012 SuperDraft, was loaned to the Atlanta Silverbacks, where he played 551 minutes while splitting time between right back and center back. However, his season was cut short when he suffered a knee injury that could keep him out until early next season.
Tetteh, selected 20th overall in the 2011 SuperDraft, played three games with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.
Here’s some of what each had to say after training today:
On his time in Atlanta) I thought it was really good. When (coach Eric) Wynalda came into Atlanta he really chances a few things and basically burned the program around, and we were having a lot of success once he got there. They were kind of on a little bit of a low when I got there – they only had a couple of wins over the last couple of years – but I thought it was going well. I was getting a lot of playing time, and I thought it was pretty successful for me. The heat was getting my fitness up for sure. It was unbelievably hot down there.
His feeling at the time of the loan) I had talked to some people that had gone on loan before. They all said it was good. Once I was down there, I thought it was amazing: to get games and just to get my fitness in because there’s nothing like playing a game. You can replicate it as much as you want at practice, but nothing is the same as playing in games.
If there was also some disappointment) It may have passed through my head for about a second, but then I’m here to help the team and if they wanted to send me on loan, I thought it was a good idea to get some games in and to come back successful. But obviously I picked up and injury, which is unfortunate, but it’s kind of out of my control. … I was improving a lot with all the games I was playing. I played at least five and then suffered the injury. But up until that point I was definitely improving.
On playing right back) I played some center back as well. … I think it’s an advantage that I can play both. I like both of them. I feel comfortable at both. But obviously it’s going to be a while before I can play, but he fact that I feel comfortable at both helps the team a lot.
On when he should be healthy again) It will be a few more months. I thik it’s like a six-month recovery, right around there. So just the beginning of next season.
On his time at Fort Lauderdale) I think overall it was good. I wanted to get games, and I got to play like two and a half games because I got that red card. But overall, it was good for me to get away and experience that. Overall, I thought it went well.
More on that red card) Sometimes in a game something happens and you just can’t control yourself. We had a foul and a guys pushed me down, and right at that split I lost it and I kind of pushed him.
On the Strikers) They were having a tough season and when I went in, it was hard for me to fit in with them. But I did my best, and I had a really good talk with the coach and I enjoyed myself.
On being loaned twice in two season) It’s good. It’s been a tough season for me. I pulled my hamstring, and it was six months, and I wasn’t getting playing time here. … It’s something that I had to do, and I did it and I’m back here. … For me it just makes you appreciate where you are, and don’t take for granted of it because nobody’s job is safe here. It definitely when I come back here it helps me work harder and do whatever I can do to show the coaches that I’m good enough to be here. … There are guys who have been here two-three years and they haven’t for a lot of playing time. It takes patience. It helped me – to go away – to prepare my mind mentally to keep fighting.
On his future with the Sounders) I don’t know. I don’t know what’s going to happen next year. I’m just going to keep working hard here, and then when the season is here I’ll see what’s going on. … I’m still happy here. I want to play. Who doesn’t? But it’s been two years, and I’ve learned a lot since I’ve been here. If next year comes and I’ve got an opportunity somewhere else, then that’s what I would do.
We also asked coach Sigi Schmid about Tetteh’s future with the club.
“Obviously, we sent Michael away,” he said. “I’ve talked to his coach there in Fort Lauderdale – Daryl Shore – to see how he did there. Right now we’re focused on the playoffs and trying to move forward. We’re not really thinking about next year in terms of our players. Our thoughts will turn to that when our season is over, and we hope that won’t be until after the MLS Cup. He’s a quality player. He went down there and he did well down there, playing in more offensive positions. And that’s something we have to evaluate with Michael, whether playing as a left back is something that makes sense, or is he more of a wide attacking player; and then he goes into a different mix of players, and how does he come out of that competition.”