During an otherwise light day of training, the most notable developments were with who wasn't participating. Notably, Chad Marshall, DeAndre Yedlin and Alex Caskey were absent from the session that was mostly an excuse to play a soccer-tennis tournament. It turns out that Marshall and Yedlin are, in fact, nursing injuries, although Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid both would be ready to start against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday.
Caskey's situation may not be so straightforward.
When asked about the midfielder, Schmid was a little evasive and seemed to suggest Caskey may not be rejoining the team.
"We're working on finalizing a few things, but right as of today, we don't have anything to announce," Schmid said about Caskey. "But in the next couple days, there will be some announcements, I'm sure."
Caskey is, of course, not the only player whose future remains in doubt. Just a few days before the season-opener, the Sounders still have six unsigned players. They also have not finalized Shalrie Joseph's status (although the safe money seems to be that the veteran will have his contract bought out). All six of those unsigned players apparently remain with the team, as Cam Weaver, John Arroyo, Fabio Pereira and Kevin Parsemain were training; Gonzalo Pineda was doing some rehab work on the side; and Michael Azira was given extra time to take care of some loose ends in Charleston, S.C. before apparently rejoining the team later on Monday.
Assuming Caskey is no longer with the team and Joseph is bought out, that would leave the Sounders with 24 players under contract and theoretically give them room to sign all six trialists. While that's one possible scenario, it still seems unlikely all six would be offered contracts, especially if the team is really trying to sign Costa Rican international Jose Miguel Cubero.
Starting lineup options
The Sounders still have a few unsettled positions in the starting XI, especially assuming Clint Dempsey is unavailable. Indications are that while Leo Gonzalez is close to regaining full fitness, the Sounders feel no reason to rush him into the starting lineup and are happy to use Dylan Remick until the veteran left back is 100 percent.
Schmid has also stopped short of declaring a starting goalkeeper, where Stefan Frei and Marcus Hahnemann are the top candidates. The only indication we've been given is that Frei was used in the Carolina Challenge Cup finale, which Schmid said would likely be a close approximation of the First Kick starting lineup.
That same logic also suggest Lamar Neagle would start as the right wing and Brad Evans would be in the middle.