Yesterday's weekly notes from Seattle Sounders FC said that Michael Gspurning earned his second yellow card (he is listed with two on official tournament site) of the current CONCACAF Champions League cycle and will miss the first leg against Santos Laguna. If you are surprised by this don't worry, most everyone is - including Sigi Schmid.
"It was a little unclear because normally Yellow Cards wipe clean after the Group Stage. CONCACAF has a rule that it wipes clean after the Quarterfinal Stage," Schmid said to the media after Tuesday's practice session. After explaining that it is an unusual rule compared to other tourneys and that the rest of the team is clean he told the tale of the second card against Gspurning, "we don't have any recourse with CONCACAF, but I thought the Yellow was really harsh because they were subbing at the time so Gspurning was waiting for their player to get off the field as he was exiting on the endline. The referee gave him a Yellow for not putting the ball into play. He's sitting there like 'well I can't put the ball in play. Their guy is still on the field while they are subbing.' So it was a little bit of a confusing issue."
Philip Lund and Ashani Fairclough both spoke to the media group today as well.
Lund is coming off of not just the illness and injury with the club, but noted that he had just left a six month injury issue and was not running so to be not just running again but having a pro contract is a big deal.
"It's amazing and it means a lot to me. I will develop my play because I'm around good coaches and players as well. I will train every day at a high level. I'm looking forward to that," the Dane said with a smile. He recently joined Twitteras he's heard that all Americans have a profile.
Fairclough was a former Jamaican Youth National, even the captain on the U-17 side, but his next step would be with the senior team. Though only 20 he will miss the next U-23 cycle as he's too old. The youngster was not drafted, but worked hard to get the pro contract.
"I had a personal self-belief and each day in practice I came out and worked towards it [a pro deal], even in college. Coming here, even though I didn't get drafted in January I came here in preseason and put the work in. I still had that belief I had in college and eventually it paid off."
Ashani rooms with Djimi Traore who he sees as a mentor both in how to train and how to play the game.
With Spring Break taking place for some universities a two former Academy players are in town practicing with the First Team. From this point until their competitive seasons start in the Fall a handful of college talent will be practicing at Starfire. This week it is Aaron Kovar and Ian Lange, but the rotation will be fairly constant.