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Practice Notes: Fixture Congestion

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Ruidiaz is back in full training, and Schmetzer is concerned about defensive lapses

The Seattle Sounders returned to the training field at Starfire on Monday, ahead of the first challenging stretch of the season. While the team has had a relatively comfortable schedule thus far, they’ll no longer have that luxury, with six games in the month of April, including two midweek fixtures.

Having played on Saturday, training was limited and the starters from Saturday worked inside. However, the good news is that forward Raúl Ruidíaz was present at training and went through the entire session without any limitations.

With Ruidíaz unavailable on Saturday versus Real Salt Lake, Coach Brian Schmetzer called on Will Bruin to fill in at the forward position, and was pleased with what he saw. “I loved Will’s performance; I thought it was good,” Schmetzer said. “He did work on both sides of the ball [and] was involved in some of our attacks.”

Schmetzer was still less than pleased with some lapses in concentration against RSL, specifically the chance from Jefferson Savarino, which he conceded probably should have been a goal. “I’m still upset about the 70-yard long pass that Savarino maybe should have scored,” he commented. “We talked a little bit about our awareness on our set pieces...defending set pieces are just as important.

“The body position of the defenders, no pressure on the ball, some of those little reminders we were able to talk through today.”

Turning to Colorado, Schmetzer noted that the Rapids are a “desperate” team (0-4-1), and it’s premature to determine that any opponent has no hope of making the playoffs. “It’s too early in the year for you guys to see teams that may have given up or they may not make the playoffs,” Schmetzer said. “MLS is such—we know it all to well—you can start off slow and continue [to improve].

“They will be a desperate team, they will be at home, they will try to get as many points as possible. This is MLS, we’re not taking it for granted or lightly at all.”

The Sounders continue training at Starfire tomorrow before traveling to Colorado.