The Sounders are firm believers that developing a rhythm on the field is a key component to the club’s success in the standings.
That is evidenced by the club’s historic triumphs on short rest. However, when the team has extended time between games, they have struggled to regain that rhythm and get results.
That is one reason they are optimistic despite coming out of a 2-0 loss to Real Salt Lake on Saturday. This week, the Sounders will continue their regular training routine to keep players into a more regular playing rhythm while they prepare for their next match on Wednesday, July 3 against DC United at CenturyLink Field.
Last week, the Sounders were a team in need of time off after a grueling early-season schedule saw them playing intense matches against top-flight Mexican clubs in the CONCACAF Champions League and extended travel that saw the team take two road trips with two or more matches. So head coach Sigi Schmid gave them four days off before preparing them for the match against Real Salt Lake. This time around, the breaks will be more limited as they develop their more regular routine.
“It gives us some practice time. Hopefully our rhythm will be a little bit sharper,” Schmid said of the 10 days between Saturday’s match and the next contest against DC United. “I thought in the Salt Lake game, our sharpness in the final third wasn’t at the quality that it needed to be.”
The three players who were away with international duty recently – Brad Evans, Eddie Johnson and Mario Martinez – were given time off after they missed the break earlier this month.
Osvaldo Alonso was limited in training, but continues to make progress after a quad strain knocked him out of the last two matches. Lamar Neagle was also limited after suffering a hip flexor injury early in the match against Salt Lake, but his exclusion from full training was more of a precaution. Otherwise, the starters from Saturday’s match had a light regeneration day while the rest of the team went through a full training session.
The Sounders have plenty of time to get those players back into the team this week and hope to be more reflective of their full potential when they get back on the pitch at CenturyLink Field on July 3 against DC United.
“Getting everybody on the field is the main thing we want to do. Luckily we have a little bit more time to do that and mesh together. Hopefully we can get everybody out for a couple of practices before the next game,” Neagle said. “Once we get everybody on the field on the same time, it will be exciting to see what we can put together.”
The Sounders have won three straight matches at CenturyLink Field and are unbeaten at 3-0-2 in their last five at home.