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It's Like Getting a Whole New Player for Free!

hurtado

"I keep working hard with that mentality," he said. "Titles. Titles, because that's what the people want to see ever since we got into MLS. We have to get over the barrier of losing early in the playoffs."

Growing up, the Sunday Times paper was only ever good for two things: the Frazz comics in color and the tiny little box of soccer news and scores at the end of the sports section written by Jose Romero. If you remember him, he used to cover the Sounders (USL that is) and high school soccer. I guess at some time he moved out to Arizona, where last week he was able to reconnect with another guy we haven't seen in a while, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado.

Romero put together a great article that looks at Hurtado's progress since his season ending ACL injury last May. While some hoped he would make it back for the end of last season, his empty space was filled by Jeff Parke, who at the time used the absence to compete for a starting job. Of course, with Marshall now gone to Colorado, Hurtado could be back in business bossing around poor would-be opposing attackers, possibly by the start of the season.

"Jhon Kennedy's major strength is, I think he's one of the top three in the league in terms of a (one-on-one) defender," Schmid said. "He's also got good pace, so that's something that always helps us in the back. Obviously he's got to find those things again. All the action happening around you, that's the thing that's probably the hardest to make up, because when you've been out injured, you can work with the ball individually but there's not a lot of pressure or movement going on."

Meanwhile, the Times' current soccer writerJosh Mayers reports from training camp,

(On Sounders FC defense...) "I thought Jhon Kennedy [Hurtado] did well in terms of their defending. It was very, very good. I thought Roger [Levesque] did well as a right back in the last period of time [wait, what?!]. I think them being able to win those duals, win those battles, recover when a guy slips in behind, all those things are important."

It sounds like Hurtado is doing well in training camp, and that will definitely be good news for many who were worried about the thinning of our back line during the offseason. Getting back Hurtado ready for the new season will really be like nabbing a new defender, because he is capable of making such an impact. It's the like the old saying, "You never quite know how much you miss him until he's back." That's a saying right?

Anyways, I can't wait to see him back on the field.