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Practice Notes: Back to fitness

Amid rumblings about new signings, the team looks ahead to a hot Houston Dynamo side

Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

TUKWILA, Wash. — As the Seattle Sounders returned to the Starfire practice field for the first time in nearly a week, there was a quiet buzz regarding potential additions to the club. The primary MLS transfer window closes tonight at 9:59 PM local time, and there are reports that the Sounders could make no less than two additions (Joevin Jones and Xavier Arreaga) to bolster the club in advance of a congested schedule and Gold Cup.

In addition to potential signings, Coach Brian Schmetzer had the luxury of a nearly full strength squad at practice, with only midfielder Gustav Svensson absent from training. While his injury has previously been described as “long term”, a club official indicated that the injury is similar to the one suffered by Will Bruin, which kept the forward out for several weeks.

Schmetzer declined to comment specifically on the potential additions, though he did say that he would welcome any players who would help bolster the squad.

“By my last count there could be potentially six guys missing for Gold Cup, maybe even seven,” Schmetzer said. “Having a few extra guys around could certainly help.”

Looking forward to the Houston Dynamo matchup on the weekend, Schmetzer noted that while Houston has operated under the radar for the last couple of years, their fast start has not gone unnoticed.

“He [Wilmer Cabrera] is already a good coach, but he’s transforming his team a little bit into something that’s not quite the rope-a-dope and keep three guys up [top],” he said. “They are deservedly in the mix as one of the top teams in our league.”

Stefan Frei also said the Dynamo’s strong start has caught the team’s attention.

“I’ve noticed, and I think our players have noticed,” Frei said. “They’re a good side, they’re dangerous, they’re efficient with their touches, they’re quick on the counter and they’re explosive in their attack.”

Frei wasn’t immune to the rumblings about player additions, and though he did not comment specifically on any potential signings, he indicated that it would be nice to have additions to the team.

“These things are all out of our hands,” he said. “If tomorrow a new player shows up, we try to incorporate that player; whether he’s new, whether he’s old, doesn’t really matter.

“Would it be nice to have some players back that have been here before and who have done well? Sure.”

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