Battling some steady rain throughout most of the session, the Seattle Sounders wrapped up their final day of training before heading out Charleston, S.C. where they will be until March 1. From the sound of it, the players that will be joining the club on the trip will be a close approximation to the final roster.
Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said they will take 26-28 field players to Charleston, meaning there could be as many as eight cuts between now and whenever the team actually boards the plane. Even after those cuts, there's a decent chance that a few more players are almost immediately sent out on loans.
A major reason to make the cuts now, as opposed to after the trip, is that the Sounders want to make sure the semi-competitive minutes they have remaining are going to players who are likely to play significant roles in the regular season. To that end, they've already added a fourth game to the trip -- the Sounders will play the College of Charleston on Sunday -- and they are trying to add a fifth game to be played prior to the Carolina Challenge Cup finale on March 1.
"There's a lot of competition," Schmid said. "The 18 is a competitive situation for them right now. There's a lot of good options there and a lot of people we can come with. These final sets of games are another chance for people to show they should be in the first 11 or at least 18 or even on the squad."
- DeAndre Yedlin was held out of Tuesday's training session with what Schmid called a "bit of an ankle sprain." There was no word on whether or not that was the same ankle he injured last year, but Schmid did not seem to be particularly worried about any longterm ramifications.
- The Sounders closed the session with a series of finishing drills. The most impressive performance may have belonged to goalkeeper Josh Ford, who made a few impressive saves, two of which robbed David Estrada of goals.
- Kevin Parsemain continued to be one of the standouts as well. It would be a pretty big surprise to not see him among the players who travel to Charleston.
- Although these games should be more competitive than the ones the team played during the recent trip to Arizona, Schmid cautioned against reading too much into results. Noting that the Sounders won the Desert Diamond Cup a year ago, he said "It doesn't matter at end of day, preseason is preseason. Just a matter of continuing to improve as a team, continuing to understand each other, build upon our cohesion and play well."