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Sounders Practice Notes: Managing short rest

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Sounders have their one and only training session ahead of Wednesday’s match against FC Dallas.

TUKWILA, Wash. — The Seattle Sounders finished their only training session at Starfire this week. A combination of a midweek game Wednesday versus FC Dallas, followed by a cross-country flight for a game Sunday against DC United means that the team will have limited time to work on fixing what head coach Brian Schmetzer said was an ongoing concern of the Sounders’ penchant for giving up multiple goals — even at home.

The congestion and travel also means that fans can expect squad rotation for both of the remaining games this week. However, the benefit Schmetzer has now as opposed to during the summer is that most of his team is available for selection.

“I’m blessed to have some choices. I’ve got some guys who played Sunday that can play Wednesday,” Schmetzer said. “How to split that up for a third game the following Sunday, we’re certainly taking into consideration the scientific data, just talking to the player, risk factors. We’ll come out with a very, very strong team.”

Goalkeeper Stefan Frei echoed Schmetzer’s sentiments regarding rotation, especially as it pertains to getting input from the players on how many minutes they can manage.

“It’s definitely a matter of fielding your best squad but also being mindful of we can’t afford having injuries at this point,” Frei said. “It’s very important to watch those minutes and for guys to be honest with themselves and with the squad. Obviously, we want everyone to push to the max, but there is a level of being smart and realizing that we have three games and travel in a matter of a week and important games looming after that as well.”

FC Dallas, too, will be facing the same issues. They are coming off a 4-0 road loss to the Chicago Fire on Saturday and find themselves sitting eighth in the Western Conference standings. Schmetzer believes Dallas — who are 1-8-2 in their last 11 road games — will come in desperate for a result.

“They’re a good team,” Schmetzer said. “These are all critical games for every team in our league. I fully expect Dallas to forget about what happened in Chicago and refocus on us.”

Notes

Schmetzer clarified an issue that had caused a bit of confusion: The return of Roman Torres. While the Panamanian center back was confirmed to be eligible for the game against San Jose on Sept. 29, there was some question about whether he would play games for the Tacoma Defiance in advance of that return. Schmetzer confirmed that Torres is not eligible to play for either team until his suspension ends on Sept. 23. “He cannot play games for Tacoma,” Schmetzer said. “He’s training with them and he’ll join training with us next week. He hasn’t played a game in awhile so expectations have to be in line with that.”