The Sounders had their first training session this morning, and are going again int the afternoon. A few news items from the first day:
*Midfielder Shalrie Joseph remains in the Sounders roster, but he is not in Seattle and Schmid said he is not in the club’s plans for the coming season.
*Defender Leo Gonzalez was the only Sounders to have off-season surgery (groin). He is expected to be ready to fully participate in about a month, Schmid said.
* The existing FieldTurf at CenturyLink Field will be retained for a third season in 2014, general manager Adrian Hanauer said Saturday.
Here’s some of what coach Sigi Schmid had to say:
“It’s a team that we made changes to in the offseason and we’re not done yet in terms of all those changes. I think as a result of that there’s a good spirit. I think you’ve talked to some of the guys, I think they’re excited about being here, they’re excited about the opportunity to play in Seattle, and that’s really exciting. And as we continue to move forward I think we’re going to develop a team that’s very good and very cohesive.”
On the first work: The first day of training we just wanted to guys to play a little bit so we can establish a little bit where they are fitness-wise. We wanted to see, obviously, the new guys play. You don’t want to do a lot of fitness. We wanted to see them play before they get tired, and when we come back this afternoon we’ll do more shooting and things like that – more of a technical training. … Today we just wanted to let them play a little bit and get all their excitement out of they system as well.
On his thoughts about it: I’m excited because of the new people that are out here and the possibilities that leads to. Already you’re able to say certain things to guys. You see some of the things he does now, expect those kinds of passes. Just trying to build it all over again. I think that’s the exciting part of coaching, is it’s a mosaic that takes on a different shape each time. You’ve got to look for the pieces of the puzzle that fit together, but at the end of the day, I think having a team that’s changing and a little bit younger too is a good thing for us right now because I think it brings that spirit. You could sense that spirit in the locker room before they came out here, and you could sense it on the field.