Three questions for the Sounders as training camp kicks off this week

On Wednesday, the Sounders opened their coaching camp for the 2023 season. After two days of physicals and assessments, the gamers had their first session on the sphere Friday at Starfire Sports activities in Tukwila.

The already optimistic temper was magnified with the return of midfielders Joao Paulo (AFC Champions League) and Obed Vargas (full-back) from damage. Each are wholesome, making backup goalkeeper Andrew Thomas (fullback) the one participant on the injured record.

Midfielder Crimson Baker-Whiting was additionally absent. He’s presently coaching in Florida with the US U-19 Nationwide Youth Nationwide Crew till subsequent week. However the remainder of the Sounders squad reported, together with internationals Nohu (Cameroon), Xavier Arriaga (Ecuador), Christian Roldan (US) and Jordan Morris (US), who had been referred to as up for the current FIFA Males’s World Cup in Qatar. .

“There is a buzz within the group as a result of JB coached and Oped coached,” Sounders coach Brian Schmitzer mentioned afterwards. The membership will open its doorways to the media on Saturday.

(Efficiency coaches Sean Muldoon and Adam Centofanti) despatched all of the gamers particular person, particular low season plans. Noah, Jordan, Christian and Xavi had been in finals in order that they did not have that, however the remainder of the blokes had a particular program to comply with, based mostly on their check outcomes. “They did an incredible job sticking to the low season coaching schedule. They knew it was a brief run till our first aggressive recreation, so we coaches are very pleased in that sense.”

Seattle will start their marketing campaign in Morocco for the FIFA Membership World Cup from 1-11 February. The official draw is on Friday (January 13), however the Sounders, who superior as CONCACAF Champions League winners, will play their opening match on February 4.

The group’s MLS opener is February 26 in opposition to Colorado at Lumen Discipline.

Listed here are three inquiries to reply earlier than the season begins:

I nonetheless perceive?

All eyes shall be on Joao Paulo and Vargas to see if their return in midfield makes the distinction for the Sounders. The previous picked up his damage within the first half of a CCL match in Might 2022 whereas Vargas, who performed nicely with Joao Paulo, was knocked out in June.

Along with a leaky protection – conceding 46 targets – midfielder Albert Rusnak performed out of place to compensate. Schmitzer’s squad was additionally affected by accidents to striker Raúl Ruidiaz (hamstring/ankle) and Roldán (sports activities hernia).

Joao Paulo was a candidate for MVP within the league earlier than his damage, and Vargas, a first-generation Alaskan American, has been courted by the US and Mexico nationwide groups. If they will faucet again their elite degree of ball management within the center, the Sounders may very well be intimidating once more.

offensive improve?

The Sounders struggled offensively final yr and veteran ahead Will Bruen did not stop. As a substitute, the membership traded $400,000 in assured common allocation cash (GAM) for Heber, who joined MLS in 2019 and scored 30 targets in 88 video games for the New York Metropolis facet.

However Heber (pronounced EH-ber) suffered an ACL damage in 2020. He had a promising eight-goal 2022 season, and now he’ll must study a brand new system and construct chemistry together with his new teammates. The constructive is Heber, the third Brazilian within the Sounders record, becoming a member of Joao Paulo and winger Liu Zhu.

Heber is predicted to assist Ruidias and presumably pair up with Morris. The veteran Sounders misplaced final season, as they amassed 16 targets and 6 assists. Ruidias tied the franchise file with 17 targets in 2021.

Lots of kicks had been left unfinished final season. Ruidias and Morris want to revive their greatest type within the league, whereas Heber and Freddy Montero want to supply as backups.

Manageable schedule?

The Sounders will transfer from their coaching camp to Spain later this month for closing preparation heading into the Membership World Cup. Whereas the journey shall be intense to open the season, the group has some reduction by way of schedule by not enjoying a recreation from two weeks into Might. Final yr’s schedule was crowded on account of eight CCL video games.

Schmetzer mentioned it does not make a distinction given {that a} revamped League Cup event is on the horizon this summer season. Mexico’s Liga MX and MLS plan to close down the competitors for a month from July 21 to August. 19. The winner receives an automatic CCL berth.

“The primary couple of weeks, we now have to hit them actually onerous,” Schmitzer mentioned of preseason exercises. “We actually must get some health in them after which for the subsequent couple of weeks we’ll work on techniques, after all… Our schedule is pleasant in the beginning as a result of we now have loads of house video games. It could be good if we may rating some wins and put ourselves in a very good place on the sphere.” the long run “.

Word: Schmetzer is predicted to journey to Morocco with a full roster. Morris and Roldan are in query as a result of the boys’s nationwide group performed two friendlies on January 25 and 28 in California. Neither of them performed a big function throughout the matches in Qatar however they’re constants for the USMNT. The nationwide group is present process a brand new management, which may additionally have an effect on the call-up of Roldan and/or Morris.

“It’s recognized that we’re going to the Membership World Cup and this may very well be a precedent,” mentioned Schmitzer. “There are loads of issues which are out of my management, however I count on it will likely be accessible for us within the Membership World Cup.”

Leave a Comment