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Sounders return to Starfire: Regen, Finishing Drills, Chat with Alonso

With the Sounders return to Starfire for practice the starting XI regened, while the rest of the squad did a small side game and finishing drills.

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Today's practice in a sunny but chilly Tukwila, Washington saw the Seattle Sounders split the squad a bit. The XI from the match with Tigres stretched and jogged while the rest of the squad did a small sided quick passing game and finishing drills. Several trialists (non-roster invitees) are still in camp. Doug Herrick is back from AFC Challenge Cup Qualifying with Guam. Travis Bowen, Ashani Fairclough, Philip Lund and Steven Okai were all present as well. Will Bates was reportedly around the facility but not out in public. I missed Sigi's comments on injury status due to interviewing some one else. Josh Mayers wrapped up what the status of Estrada, Zakauni and Johansson.

Most notable today was that Eriq Zavaleta was getting a look as a forward both in the game and in finishing drills. He also was one of the last to leave. Neagle looked particularly effective in that drill.

Osvaldo Alonso and I chatted about his performance against Tigres and what that could mean for his first MLS game.

SaH: The pace of play by Tigres was much faster than most matches. Did that make it easier or harder for your first match?

Alonso: It was a hard game. Tigres is a good team, [particularly] in Mexico. They are so fast and they keep the ball well. They try to organize the game. I think we did a good job to try to defend them.

SaH: How do you adjust to their defense in the next game?

Alonso: They pressed us every time. We have to change our game, try to keep the ball and try to score a goal. We have to score a goal to win the series and advance to the next round.

SaH: With a first two matches against that caliber of opponent does that help you prepare for your first MLS game?

Alonso: Yes, my first games being against big teams is good for me. I think when I get to MLS it will be a good season.

Still a bit short on words Alonso spoke with a determination about getting that one goal and the need to a different approach on Tuesday in order to come away with a groundbreaking result against a Mexican club. What adjustments the Sounders make and how they execute them will be the difference between victory and falling just short.

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