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Three Sounders basically got naked for a photo shoot

Professional soccer players tend to be in pretty good shape. You know this instinctively, being as they are running around for 90-plus minutes and never seem to get tired. How they look under those uniforms, though, is usually left to the imagination. Well, until now.

Seattle lifestyle magazine Ville convinced Tyrone Mears, Zach Scott and Nelson Valdez to pose with nothing but a soccer ball for a recent issue. Ostensibly, the story is about what they do to take care of their aging bodies (read it here), but it's safe to say most will be talking about the cover photo:

One imagines this will be the talk of the Sounders' locker room in the coming days, and at least one former player took note:

If you can manage to get your chin off the floor and make it to the actual interview, there's some good stuff in there. Scott passes on an anecdote about how the team used to travel without trainers for some games -- in order to bring a 16th player -- and so it would often be up to the most capable player to do the ankle taping and such during USL road trips. Mears and Valdez both talk about how they could go out during the season, but just can't really do that anymore. Mears shares how much more secretive English teams are about their training and fitness regimens than they are here.

Some other highlights:

Scott on the Sounders' use of tracking devices: "You can't think that your'e just going to go out there during training and hide. They are looking at your stats; and if you don't work hard enough, then you're doing extra running. So by not working as hard as you can, you are doing a disservice to yourself."

Scott on the realities of being a dad: "With kids, it's hard to follow a strict diet because they kids won't eat it. ... I'm a normal dude who has a family. I'm going to have pizza, but I'll work hard the next day and not think twice about it."

Mears on the the Sounders' changing fitness plan: "I think last season, if we played Saturday, we'd have Sunday and Wednesday off. This season, we've changed it so we'll have Sunday off then Tuesday off, and leading up to the game we'll train Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I think at the start of the season it was difficult, a little hard on the body, but I think the lads are getting used to it now."

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