Entering the offseason, Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid knew there would be plenty of changes to the roster at hand.
Now that training camp has started, he looked around on Saturday and saw many new faces in Rave Green. While Seattle had a new look in the first day of camp, Schmid anticipates even more changes on the horizon.
“We knew we were going to make some changes in the offseason and I think we accomplished most of our goals. Now we just have to finish up a little bit in midfield,” said Schmid, who added MLS veteran forwards, defenders and goalkeepers. “We’re still trying to finalize things there, but we’ve got a good start on that.”
One player many have speculated about to fill that midfield role is Marco Pappa. The former Chicago Fire midfielder announced on Twitter that he had signed with MLS, but because Chicago accepted a transfer fee for him when he moved to SC Heerenveen in Holland, he would re-enter the league through the allocation process. There, Seattle holds the No. 2 spot behind the Philadelphia Union, who is in hot pursuit of U.S. National Team midfielder Maurice Edu.
That, as it turns out, is a fluid situation, though, that could see resolution at any time.
“It’s something that we’re aware of and we’re thinking about and we’re talking about,” Schmid said. “How it ultimately resolves itself might change in 30 minutes or in 30 minutes after that.”
JOSEPH NOT EXPECTED BACK
One player who won’t likely be part of that midfield equation is Shalrie Joseph.
“He’s still a member of our team, but right now, he’s not really in our plans,” Schmid said.
Joseph was acquired from Chivas USA during the 2013 preseason, along with a SuperDraft pick and a swap in the allocation order. The 35-year-old midfielder had one goal in 10 matches, starting six times during the season.
REUNITED IN SEATTLE
In 2008, Schmid and Chad Marshall won the Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup together with the Columbus Crew. Marshall also won the MLS Defender of the Year award, an honor he would repeat in the 2009 season.
Now the duo is back together in Seattle with Sounders FC.
“I had some of my best years individually and as a team with Columbus when he was there. I’m excited to work with him again. He gets the best out of his players and he runs good training sessions,” said Marshall, who played 10 seasons with the Crew. “I definitely think if the team works hard, we can achieve great things here.”
GONZALEZ AND BATES REST
Only two players were limited in the morning training session on Saturday, with Leo Gonzalez and Will Bates both working away from the rest of the team. Gonzalez, who signed a new contract in the offseason, had groin surgery and is hoped to be available to play in preseason games in Charleston in late-February. Bates, meanwhile, is expected out 2-3 weeks to let an offseason injury recover.