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Practice Report: Drills, Small Sided and Wide Field Games

Roster flux continues though all under contract players are still with the team, some of the Supplemental Draft picks and trialists are now in a different phase of their soccer journeys. Joshua Mayers, of the Seattle Times, compiled the list of missing names. Harlinton Guiterres, Real Espana reservist, is still in camp. After practice Sigi Schmid noted that Alex Caskey was in the concussion protocol and Josh Ford's injury is a lingering issue of unknown recovery length. Mike Fucito also did not practice today for injury reasons.

Today's sessions featured finishing drills running concurrent to a large wide field game with three mini goals per side. As Coach Schmid indicated last week these styles of exercise are new to this preseason as the team had earlier focused on fitness and passing drills. Later there were two small sided games where quick passing and attacking were at a premium.

Post practice Sigi provided more clarification to what he expects from the central defenders this year and the difference between being an attacking player as opposed to an option to maintain possession and reset the attack.

It's not that I expect the defenders to be storming forward like mad men into the attacking parts of the field. What I want is for them to be more involved when a play breaks down for them to be an option to play back to. Then they can move the ball, get the ball to the other side of the field... and not sort of feel that the ball is there now and it's not coming back to us and we're out of the play. There's always going to be opportunities to get our left back forward, our right back forward at the right times, that's the way I've always coached and the way my teams have always played. On the same token I'm not looking for Jeff Parke or the other centerback to make a rambling 30 yard run slashing past three players in middle of the midfield and having a shot from the 20.

What I'm looking for is that they are involved, and that if they see the play breaking down on one side of the field they say 'hey give it to me' and I can get it to the other side of the field. So I'm not uninvolved now because we're in the attacking third of the field. Instead I'm involved in terms of the play breaking down.'

Sigi also noted that David Estrada is now seeing more time as a forward due to the unknown length of O'Brian White's condition and Estrada's ability to fit into that role.

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