Patrick Ianni returning as lineup option, remembers his U20 experiences

Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE

After two months missing time due to a freak fracture from the preseason leap test Patrick Ianni is ready to start proving he belongs in the 18 and XI.

With so many games in May the need for healthy players increases. Last year Patrick Ianni started 15 MLS matches, 3 Open Cup and 2 CCL games. Now healthy he does not see the crowded month as a chance to play. He sees every match regardless of schedule as a chance to prove he belongs on the pitch. Ianni talked to Sounder at Heart about that, the U20s and facing off against Parke on a set-piece earlier in the week.Returning to play
It's really good. It's good to be back with the guys and in and around them.

About May offering opportunities
I look at every day as an opportunity to get fitter, get sharper - all things I need to do. Everyday is an opportunity. When I get called upon I'll be happy for that as well.

Defensive success during roster transitions
I think the quality of players that we've brought in has always been very high. We have a good deal of continuity between Jhon, Leo, Burch, myself, Zach and added some good pieces this year as well. I think it has to do with continuity and the guys they've brought in and always having a good few keepers behind us has helped as well. Kasey, Gspurning, Hahnemann, Ford, Meredith, how many do we have?

Settling in left or right center
I'd like to be one or the other, but I'll do either one.

But Parke was usually on the right
He liked the right one and I liked the left when I played with him, but Jhon always liked the left one so I'd go back and forth, but I didn't care. Once you get settled in a lineup you kind of stick with you.

Set-play against Jeff if you start?
Everyone you know you definitely want to make sure they don't score. Anyone that you've played with you don't want them to score. That'd be the only thing I'd be thinking, just like anyone else I'm marking on set-pieces. There's a little added, because he's a good friend and I don't want him to have that on me.

What did the U20 Youth Championships mean for you?
It was a great experience. It was a huge part of jumpstarting my career in the pros. It was the main reason I left early I think - the notoriety from being on that team and the experience. It allowed me to start my career at 20 years old in MLS. All the great experiences I had in Houston prepared me for my years in Seattle.

Did you talk to DeAndre?
I told him congrats. It will be a different situation for him. I just hope he makes the most of it like he's been doing. He seems to be adjusting well. It's a long season and he's doing well so far.

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