Sunnier outlook after first victory

don.ruiz@thenewstribune.comApril 23, 2013 

Sounders FC won its first game over the weekend, and on Monday, the sun was shining in Seattle.

Coincidence? Goalkeeper Michael Gspurning thinks not.

“The weather was just waiting for the first win, I think,” he said. “There are no clouds for the first time this year. At the moment, it’s very sunny in Seattle.”

A lone goal by designated player Obafemi Martins was the difference Saturday in the Sounders’ 1-0 victory on the road in Colorado.

While coach Sigi Schmid didn’t go as far as Gspurning, he said he noticed a lighter feeling among his players Monday as they participated in their first practice session since the breakthrough.

“It’s nice to come off a win,” Schmid said. “We’ve had some games where I thought we’ve played well and deserved to win — like New England and (Portland) — and you don’t come out with a win. But at the end of the day, we’re happy to get a win, and we’ve got to move forward from there, build from there.”

The Sounders have some time for that. They don’t return to Major League Soccer play until May 4 at Philadelphia.

Most other teams will play again before then, so the Sounders (1-3-2) know they will lose ground in the standings before they get their next chance to add points against the Union.

Still, the team got its second consecutive shutout, its first victory and the mental boost that comes with it.

“Otherwise, it would have been a very long two weeks,” Gspurning said. “Focus is on work. … (But) it was more fun, more smiley faces, of course. You feel that a lot of pressure is now away from the team. Still, the situation is not good — we all know this. But we did the first step. Now we have to continue and make the next step.”

U.S. CALLS YEDLIN

Sounders first-team right back DeAndre Yedlin and Sounders Academy forward Jordan Morris were called in by the U.S. U-20 national team for a training camp that opened Monday and will run through April 29.

The team is preparing in Carson, Calif., for the U-20 World Cup, which takes place June 21-July 13 in Turkey.

Yedlin, 19, is the only Sounders player to play every minute this season. That streak is expected to continue, because Schmid said Yedlin will return early next week.

Morris, 18, is a forward on the Sounders Academy U-18 team. He was the 2012 Gatorade Washington state player of the year at Mercer Island High School and has committed to play at Stanford in the fall.

Yedlin was called into the U-20 national camp in January 2012. This was Morris’ first call at the national level.

ADDED TIME

Sounders FC will meet San Jose in an MLS Reserve League match at 8 p.m. today at Starfire Sports Stadium in Tukwila. Admission is free, but donations ($5 suggested) will be accepted at the gate. … Defenders Djimi Traore and Marc Burch were limited in Monday training because of health issues Schmid indicated weren’t serious.

Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808 don.ruiz@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer @donruiztnt

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