Sounders All-Star Notebook
Posted by: Matt Gaschk
Eddie Johnson and Osvaldo Alonso highlight tonight's MLS All-Star Game for Sounders FCWhen the MLS All-Stars meet UEFA Champions League and FA Cup champs Chelsea Wednesday night at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania, Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid can expect to see forward Eddie Johnson and midfielder Osvaldo Alonso on the field at some point. Just how much time they will see, though, is up to DC United head coach Ben Olsen, who is manning the controls for the All-Star squad in the Herbalife World Football Challenge match.
However, those decisions won’t be made without at least a little bit of coercion from each other team’s coach.
“All the coaches have probably said something to him,” Schmid said. “Our situation is a little bit different because we have an Open Cup final and we have a CONCACAF game. I doubt anybody has five games in 15 days.”
Johnson is one of four forwards on the roster and Alonso is one of seven midfielders after Olsen added Philadelphia Union midfielder Michael Farfan to the group on Tuesday.
With Johnson earning his first All-Star selection as a Sounder, Seattle has now had six players earn All-Star bids in four seasons. Fredy Montero, Freddie Ljungberg and Kasey Keller were all starters in 2009, with Jhon Kennedy Hurtado coming off the bench. In 2010, Keller, Ljungberg and Montero were all named to the inactive squad and Alonso had the same honor in 2011. Keller, however, made the trip to the match and came on for the game’s final minutes.
This year’s match kicks off at 5:30 pm Pacific Time with television coverage on ESPN2.
Both Alonso and Johnson will rejoin the team before their match on Saturday against the Colorado Rapids.
Montero earns third All-Star nod
On Wednesday, Major League Soccer announced the inactive selections for the 2012 MLS All-Star Game and for the second time in the last three years, Montero was named to the squad.
Montero started the All-Star Game in 2009, but scheduling conflicts with the CONCACAF Champions League kept him out of the festivities when he was named to the team in 2010.
Now with five goals and four assists, Montero can again call himself an All-Star as he prepares for the final 14 matches of the regular season.
Another busy schedule
With nine days between games, Schmid had the opportunity to give the Sounders some time off over the weekend and returned on Monday to a normal training schedule.
On Monday, that meant the team did some skill-specific training and on Tuesday they broke into four teams for some short-sided games and finishing drills. After taking Wednesday off, they will return to Starfire on Thursday and begin implementing the game plan for Saturday’s match against the Colorado Rapids.
That will start a stretch of five games in 15 days that will see the Sounders kick off the CONCACAF Champions League group stage against Caledonia at CenturyLink Field and play for their fourth straight US Open Cup title at Kansas City’s Livestrong Sporting Park, along with three Western Conference clashes on the MLS calendar.
When they open that schedule on Saturday, it looks like they will have more players coming available. Alex Caskey (hamstring), Cordell Cato (knee), Brad Evans (knee) and Michael Gspurning (hip) all went through full training on Monday and Tuesday.