Today's practice was clearly preparation for the game Wednesday night. As typical player availability was highly limited, with only O'Brian White talking. There are two non-collegian trialists in camp - Jordan Graye and Mrisho Ngass. The team is likely to bring in scattered college players over the next few months. The focus was nearly entirely on the US Open Cup match tomorrow against the Los Angeles Galaxy, but the big news was concerned with the health of Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and O'Brian White.
Coach Sigi Schmid noted that Hurtado's MRI indicated either a sprain or strain of the MCL and will certainly be out for the games this week. For White he seems excited to be ready to rejoin the team on the pitch and it is only fitness that he needs to improve. As someone who has recovered from serious injury in the past he has some experiences in recovery.
The other one was longer. This one was more serious though. They were both different. It definitely changed the way you feel about everything. Anything can happen at any given time. The good thing was that the doctors found it early and got it out. Now I'm just back to playing.
He indicated that it may be easier to make his first return to the pitch against Manchester United. With today's roster news he is eligible to play on Saturday.
Clubs take the Open Cup with different approaches. Obviously New York is using it as merely a reserve game, but the Galaxy have an opportunity that the Sounders do not due to the weekend friendly. Coach Schmid notes;
They have the opportunity to field their best team, unless they feel that the Real Madrid match is more important than the Open Cup game. That's a decision that they can make as an organization. I think they're going to come out with a lot of energy and a lot of enthusiasm.
Seattle with games bracketing this match on Sunday prior and Saturday after faces some challenges that Sigi will have to balance.
We have to do what we are going to do because we had a game on Sunday, and have a game on Saturday. We have to keep those things in perspective and see who has recovered well for our group. What changes we'd like to make that we are comfortable with and who's sharp right now and who needs to get some extra minutes.
Adrian Hanauer later chuckled about the potential for David Beckham playing at Starfire. He also notes that teams are clearly taking the tournament more seriously when responding to a question about the idea that Seattle could travel to Real Salt Lake after getting outbid.
In the case of Real Salt Lake they were able to outbid us to host a game. Which again, I know what I bid, which was a pretty significant sum of money so I'm assuming they bid an even larger sum which is a pretty chunk of commitment.
He also touched on Jeremiah's subject today that the addition of a new player(s) may not happen immediately.
We're certainly exploring different options - new players, we're called daily about players on our roster. We've got a quality and deep team so there are always teams interested in our players as well, our current roster. As you've seen around the league it's not like transactions happen daily. Usually what happens is that someone wants one of your better players and they want to give you a player that is not one of their better players. That's why there are so few transactions.
We're in active conversations on multiple fronts. Whether it's next week, or the week after that, or the week after that. I anticipate that the team will not look exactly like it does today once the transfer window closes.
Hanauer wrapped up the conversation talking about the potential for expansion of Starfire by adding a few thousand more seats to improve it's ability to host larger games. Improved facilities are assumed to be a part of this idea as well.