Sounders kick off preseason preparations ahead of exciting 2024 season

16x9 preseason 1.19

The sense of anticipation was palpable at Starfire this week as the Seattle Sounders kicked off their first few training sessions ahead of the 2024 season. 

“I'm excited for what's to come,” said midfielder Cristian Roldan

While a few notable starters were missing from training due to international responsibilities, the players that were present gave a good inkling on what the future holds for this Seattle squad.

“Early on in the preseason, it's about setting the standards and creating a good culture and good environment to thrive as a team,” said Roldan.

The morale of the team was obvious from the get-go.

“All the guys right now are really on their best behavior,” said Head Coach Brian Schmetzer. “They're excited to be back with their teammates, they've been good in the gym and the physical testing numbers for this year were just as good [as last year] so the guys arrived in good shape.”

The motivation stems from a desire to build off the solid foundation laid last season to compete for trophies in 2024 as the club celebrates its 50th Anniversary. 

“Sometimes you have to look back to look forward,” said Schmetzer. “We were so close to getting into the conference finals and I think that opportunity was there. So, I think that still hurts a lot of the guys, but we have to push forward.”

The Sounders closed out the 2023 MLS Regular Season with a bang, finishing second in the Western Conference. And while the team’s playoff run fell short with their 1-0 Western Conference Semifinal loss against LAFC, the Sounders are determined to carry over the positives from last year into this season’s squad.

The team is looking to utilize the veteran players in this year’s competition, especially the reliable backline that left the Sounders with league-leading shutouts last season.

“We're bringing back most of the defense so that will be a good building block to get better and be more successful as a team,” said goalkeeper Stefan Frei.

But it’s the newcomers of the squad that the club hopes will not only bolster the roster’s depth but will also provide that energy and resilience to push the team to even greater heights than last year. 

“It's nice when you get a couple of new pieces because it kind of reinvigorates the group,” said Frei. “It loosens up some staleness at times and especially if you can bring in quality on top of that, it's great.”

Preparation for the upcoming 2024 season continues until the end of February, beginning with the Seattle squad’s preseason trip to Marbella, Spain on Jan. 25.



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