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Sounders push themselves in 80-minute scrimmage

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Players are progressing toward full fitness.

The MLS is Back tournament is fast approaching, and the sense of urgency to get match fit is increasing as well.

To accomplish that goal, the Seattle Sounders are ratcheting up the intensity as much as they can having completed another in a series of inter-squad scrimmages over the weekend. Dressed in full game kits, the team stretched the session out to approximately 80 minutes, up from last week’s 60-minute session. They had apparently only planned to play 75 minutes.

Goals from Cristian Roldan and a Gustav Svensson saw the “Rave Green” side pick up a 2-0 win over the nightfall squad, but of course the scoreline is secondary to getting closer to 90 minutes fit.

“The improvement was the time, so we were trying to push out to 75 minutes,” coach Brian Schmetzer said. “We pushed a little longer, all the way out to 80 [minutes], so that was good for me. They deserved it; they wanted to play a little more.”

The next phase will see the team play a full 90-minute scrimmage, and Schmetzer said he was pleased they were able to work on some of the nuances aside from fitness.

“I actually enjoyed that we were able to practice a few set pieces live during the game,” Schmetzer said. Svensson’s goal came off a corner kick from Lodeiro.

The teams had a mix of players, including some of the young signings, which Schmetzer said is important to add energy and enthusiasm to the game.

“It raises the level of the physical activity because the young guys are here to try and prove to us that they belong,” Schmetzer said.

NOTES

  • Tacoma Defiance midfielder Shandon Hopeau was among the players who participated in the scrimmage. The 21-year-old was among the players being considered for a first-team contract.
  • MLS released its first status update on Covid-19 testing of its players and employees Sunday evening. As of Sunday, 18 MLS players and six club staff have tested positive, according to the report from the league. Starting June 30, MLS will released updated reports every other day. Two of the 329 tests done on players just prior to leaving to Orlando have come back positive.
  • The last Sounders Classic game replay was on Saturday, and featured the Sounders 4-3 victory over the LA Galaxy from Sept. 1, 2019. With the July 4 holiday next Saturday, and the MLSisBack tournament scheduled to begin July 8, the MLS soccer calendar will be full for the next month.