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Practice Report: New Trialists, Portland Week and Alvaro Fernandez

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The biggest angle throughout camp was the upcoming Cascadia Cup match down in Portland this weekend. Zach Scott (on the upcoming edition of Nos Audietis), Alan Hinton, Brian Schmetzer and of course Roger Levesque were popular today, and those that didn't get grabbed today probably will be tomorrow. There were probably more media today than any week excluding camp opening and just prior to First Kick. When a team is good and about to go on the road to their most fierce rival that will happen. There are some indications that Levesque may be starting on Sunday.

New trialists were at practice, but Mrisho Ngassa has not yet reported.The travel distance from Dar Es Salaam is significant. The trialists were unnamed, with exception of Davis Paul, formerly with the Chicago Fire. The 51st pick in the 2011 SuperDraft talked to Hot Time In Old Town on April 5th. Many trialists will come through, including college kids getting an early look prior to next year's draft.

Today, Alvaro Fernandez talked to us about his first year in MLS, watching the Copa America. Where last year he was mostly a sub shifting from right to left and even occasionally the center, this year he has most frequently been on the left more as a possession midfielder rather than winger. According to the Castrol Index he has performed the 8th best on the season, in all of MLS. The interview was simultaneously translated with thanks to the Seattle Sounders.

SaH: What's your comfort leve like with MLS after playing here for a full year?

Alvaro: I feel good. It was a little difficult back at the beginning, but now I feel great and I'm enjoying it.

SaH: You've settled into a role on the left side, where last year we saw you in various roles in the midfield. How does that compare to how you've been used in the past?

Alvaro: In the last game they put me on the right hand side. You play where they put you and you just do your best. It actually worked out pretty well.

SaH: With the game in Portland, how do you feel about going down there in a new stadium, new field, and probably the most hostile fans you will see here in the United States?

Alvaro: I actually feel good. I think every player enjoys playing in a game like that. Everyone is against you, and you go down there and play your hardest, and you hope for a good outcome. I think we are going to have that.

SaH: How is following the Copa America from afar?

Alvaro: It is a little bit difficult, because I did play for the National Team for a year, and now that I'm watching from the outside and knowing that they are playing in such a big tournament it is difficult to watch from outside and not be there, but it is what it is.