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Sounders goals: teamwork, fitness, freshness

Post by Don Ruiz / The News Tribune on Feb. 27, 2014 at 10:24 am with No Comments »
February 27, 2014 10:49 am
Sounders goalkeepers practice under the palm trees of the College of Charleston athletic complex Thursday.
Sounders goalkeepers practice under the palm trees of the College of Charleston athletic complex Thursday.

The Sounders went through an enthusiastic training session in Charleston today. It was mostly regeneration and shooting games, one day after their Carolina Challenge Cup draw against Houston and two days before their CCC finale Saturday against D.C. United.

Here’s some of what coach Sigi Schmid had to say about the session:

On training camp so far: Our team is continuing to get to understand each other and play with each other. I thought the first half against Houston, I thought we played pretty well. The soccer was pretty good. We showed a way to win the game against Charleston, which isn’t always easy when you play a USL team, because they’re highly motivated. So continuing to find ways to get results is important. And continuing to play where we understand each other’s tendencies and so forth – because there are still a lot of new players getting to know each other.

On the one remaining match: We’re looking for basically a continuation of that. We’ve got to put our lineup together for the game on Saturday with an eye towards getting ourselves minutes together, looking at what the starting lineup’s going to be. Obviously, we don’t have Clint now, so that’s something we’re going to have to mix in later. We’ve got to see how many minutes he plays in the week leading up to the opening game. And we also have to be careful that somebody who maybe’s got a little bit of a twinge and so forth, that that doesn’t become worse, because we want to be sure that we go into the (MLS opener) as healthy as possible. We want to be fresh going into the game, we don’t want to be tired coming out of the preseason.

On players who have helped themselves this camp: Different people are stepping up at different times. Sean Okoli has definitely pushed his way forward a little bit with his performances. I think he’s been pretty consistent and continues to push ahead. I think Dylan Remick has done really well in the opportunities he’s been given where he started off maybe a little bit slowly (then) the injury to Leo gave him the opportunity to keep playing, getting playing time, and I think he’s done really well in preseason. Obviously there are other guys for us who are new guys, like a Chad Marshall, who are making their impression felt on the first team. But of maybe the younger guys or the unknown guys, it’s probably Remick and Okoli right now.

On if the Saturday starting lineup will be his actual first 11: There’s a lot of things to it. There’s how people mix together, what the right balance is in terms of attacking player, defending players, what the right mix of players are, how guys are dealing with injuries and coming back from injuries. All of those are things that factor into it. It will probably be a close approximation, but it might not be the perfect end product.

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