There were a few faces missing from the Seattle Sounders' training session at CenturyLink Field on Thursday. Most of the players returning from international duty did either light training or none at all, just to make sure they'd be fresh for Saturday's match against the Montreal Impact. "Obviously we kept Dempsey inside, we just had Morris go through the beginning of the warmup, very similar to what they would do on a regen day. Same thing with Oalex and Joevin. We expect them to all be available to us on Saturday."
There was fear that left-back Joevin Jones, who has been one of Seattle's standout players in the season so far, had come off late in Trinidad and Tobago's match on Tuesday due to injury. T&T coach Stephen Hart didn't comment on it after that match, and Sigi Schmid said on Thursday that "we're just sort of checking that out. It's minor, if anything." Schmid indicated that he wasn't entirely sure of Jones' status, but that he'd be checking in with the trainers in the hopes that the player would be cleared to train tomorrow and play on Saturday.
Schmid acknowledged that the U-23 US national team's tough, humiliating loss against Colombia on Tuesday could have been particularly hard on rookie forward Jordan Morris, and that his goal as coach is to help Morris overcome it and build his confidence back up. "It's a hard loss, and we'll deal with that. We've talked a bit and I just said 'go through light practice today and we'll talk a little bit more tomorrow."
Possibly speaking to the harsh criticism and focus on Morris, both for the US and for the Sounders, Schmid stressed the importance of not suffocating a young player with expectations. He said that it's important to "allow [young players] to grow and express themselves." While Morris still has tremendous pressure placed on him from a number of sources, Schmid hopes that the rookie can shake the Olympic burden off his back and focus on the Sounders this season.