Here’s a training camp report from Friday in Tucson, provided by the club:
Sounders FC took to the field on Friday afternoon for its fourth training session at Kino Sports Complex. The team will hold a light gym session on Saturday morning before playing Real Salt Lake at 3 p.m. PT in its second match of the Desert Diamond Cup.
Friday’s training session began with warm-ups followed by dribbling and vision drills. The team played a series of half-field possession games and then head coach Sigi Schmid split the group into two teams of 11 for a full-field scrimmage to prepare for Saturday’s match. The highlight of the scrimmage came when forward Sammy Ochoa rocketed a shot from outside the box to the top corner of the net. The remaining eight players who did not play in the scrimmage worked on the side. The session concluded with finishing drills.
Midfielder Mario Martinez joined Sounders FC for the afternoon session. It was his first training session with the team this preseason following national team duty with Honduras. He arrived in Tucson early Friday afternoon.
Saturday’s match against Real Salt Lake will be streamed live on MLSsoccer.com and SoundersFC.com. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. PT at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium in Tucson, Ariz.
2013 FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup Standings
Team Record (points) Goal Differential (GF/GA)
Seattle Sounders FC 1-0-0 (3 points) +2 (2/0)
New York Red Bulls 0-0-1 (1 point) 0 (2/2)
Real Salt Lake 0-0-1 (1 point) 0 (2/2)
New England Revolution 0-1-0 (0 points) -2 (0/2)
Desert Diamond Cup Schedule
Saturday, February 16
Game 1: Seattle Sounders FC vs. Real Salt Lake – 3 p.m. PT (4 p.m. local)
Game 2: New York Red Bulls vs. New England Revolution – 5 p.m. PT (6 p.m. local
Wednesday, February 20
Game 1: Real Salt Lake vs. New England Revolution – 4 p.m. PT (5 p.m. local)
Game 2: Seattle Sounders FC vs. New York Red Bulls – 6 p.m. PT (7 p.m. local)
Saturday, February 23
Game 1: 3rd Place vs. 4th Place
Game 2: 1st Place vs. 2nd Place
Sounders FC Training Camp Participants
Goalkeepers (4): Josh Ford, Michael Gspurning, Marcus Hahnemann, Doug Herrick-
Defenders (12): Marc Burch, Andrew Duran, Ashani Fairclough-, Leo Gonzalez, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Patrick Ianni#, Adam Johansson, Dylan Remick+, Zach Scott, Djimi Traore-, DeAndre Yedlin, Eriq Zavaleta+
Midfielders (14): Osvaldo Alonso, Cordell Cato, Servando Carrasco, Alex Caskey, Kevin Durr+, David Estrada, Brad Evans, Phillip Lund-, Mario Martinez, Lamar Neagle, Mauro Rosales, Andy Rose, Christian Tiffert, Steve Zakuani.
Forwards (6): Will Bates+, Travis Bowen-, Eddie Johnson, Sammy Ochoa, Jennings Rex+, Babayele Sodade.
#Stayed in Seattle to Rehab Injury
+2013 SuperDraft or Supplemental Draft Pick
Quotes from Head Coach Sigi Schmid – February 15, 2013
(On Saturday’s match against Real Salt Lake…) “We want to continue to play well, continue to run out some of our guys. It’s going to be a mix. Probably the majority of the starting team will play the first half and then we will play our reserves in the second. I imagine Salt Lake with throw their starters out there for like 60 minutes. It will be a tough game for us in the second half because we will have a lot of young guys playing against some experienced guys. It’s going to be a good test for them.”
(On having played on Wednesday…) “We obviously expect to continue to improve. I thought the practice today was good. I thought the movement of the ball was good. Hopefully that will get better and better. But what we have got to do too is get rhythm down for our guys who are starting, try to get them enough minutes in preparation because we have a game March 2 and we have a game against Tigres right after that.”
(On Mario Martinez joining training camp…) “Mario is a skillful player. He can do certain things. You put him into a possession game at the start like we were playing eight against two and he just doesn’t get caught with the ball. […] He adds a dimension to our team just like the goal he scored last year against Salt Lake. He gives us another quality player and somebody that adds a different dimension and he is obviously a very confident player right now.”
(On Mario Martinez playing tomorrow…) “Yes, he will get some time. He just got in today. We will see how he feels tomorrow. He really hasn’t been with the group at all so we are probably not going to put him with the first team, probably let him play more in the second half with the reserves. Hopefully he will help that group out a little bit by keeping possession. He’s a guy who is going to be in our starting lineup or playing a lot of minutes.”
(On today’s training session…) “Today what we were trying to do was just continue our ball movement, make sure we make good passes. And in the 11v11 we were just looking for a little bit of possession and timing of playing balls in behind. I was pleased with a couple balls that found Eddie [Johnson] a couple times through. There were a couple times where Steve [Zakuani] got down the flank. There were times where David Estrada came through in the middle and combined again outside. So I thought it was good at times.”
(On a change in philosophy this season…) “When you play David [Estrada] up front there is obviously a little bit more movement so it changes a little bit so we don’t have that hold-up play that we got with Fredy [Montero]. But we also have more movement so it puts the opposition in a little bit of an uncomfortable situation. It’s like you gain something, you lose something. It’s not an absolute. In certain games we would rather have the hold-up play and in certain games we would rather have the movement.”