Whether by coincidence or design, the Sounders’ three newest signings add one new player at each of the three main field positions: forward Nelson Valdez, midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz, and defender Roman Torres.
All three could debut Sunday when the Sounders face Orlando City at CenturyLink Field. This morning -- after the Sounders concluded their week’s preparations -- coach Sigi Schmid was asked which of the three positions is hardest to move into a team, and which is easiest.
“They all have their own unique things. As a defender, probably from a fitness standpoint it’s easier to make it onto the field and make it through a game because as a defender you maybe don’t do quite as much running as you would do as a midfielder or a forward.
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“Midfield is maybe the hardest position just because getting used to the ebb and flow of the game and MLS and how that works. And forward is maybe the next one – maybe a little bit easier. And also for Valdez it may be a little bit easier because he’s played with Oba before, for if he’s on the field with Oba there’s maybe a familiarity that was there from the past.
“(Midfielders are) trying to coordinate with forwards, understanding what kinds of runs they’re going to make. You’re also trying to understand your defenders: what kind of balls you’re going to get from them, what position you’re going to be in and where you’re going to be on the field. So midfield is probably the hardest one for your to be able to jump in and adapt, unless you’re given a very defined role: ‘OK just sit in and be the defensive midfielder and sit in front of the back,’ or something like that.”
And since he referenced Martins, we double-checked the good news we’ve been hearing all week that this seems to be the game when Martins’ will finally return after about two months out with a leg injury.
“He’s gone through training OK,” Schmid said, “So our expectation is that he’ll be involved in the game tomorrow.”