Your Sounders FC is in Tucson and despite being there less than a week, the club has accomplished a great deal with the March 8 opener against New England Revolution fast approaching.
Thursday’s scrimmage against Minnesota United FC was a good runout for some of the players who didn’t see minutes against FC Tucson on Wednesday, while Friday’s morning session was also quite lively.
As we do with the old Tidbits From Training, here's a rundown of some of the action from the Sounders preseason.
A Nutmeg For The Ages
In a little 5v2 drill, Zach Scott was in the middle of the circle when the ball fell to Marco Pappa. The cheeky Guatemalan took his touch and slid it through Scott’s legs for a very lovely nutmeg, one that drew the plaudits of his teammates. From then on, Pappa was warned to steer clear of Mr. Sounder, who, as you’d expect, took the incident in stride (and a few jokes about remembering it for the rest of the season).
Free Kicks And Lots Of Them
Towards the end of training, a group of the players gathered near one goal and got some free kicks in. Among them was Clint Dempsey, Gonzalo Pineda, Marco Pappa and Tyrone Mears. All hit some nice shots from different angles. Should continue the Sounders good form from set pieces.
Big Turnout Of Sounders Fans
Friday marked the last training session before Saturday’s match with Sporting KC and the turnout of Sounders supporters did not disappoint. Around 50 fans showed up to take in the open training session and were privy to some very entertaining short-field play with nice finishing from guys like Obafemi Martins and Clint. An event organized by Visit Tucson, the team really enjoyed the support and spent time meeting with them after the session had ended.
If you’re a fan of military aircraft like I am, Tucson is the place to go. Flying in to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Sounders training was witness to a number of A-10 Thunderbolts passing overhead. By a number, I mean at least 15 of the jets flying in formation into the base. Was a really cool view, particularly when a set of them flew right over the training field as the photo below shows.
More Madness From Marco
Given the big crowd on hand, there were a ton of autograph requests following the session. Once it was dying down, we asked Marco to do a quick interview. While waiting for us to get our camera set up, Marco did the following with the Sharpie marker he was using for autographs: