The Sounders concluded the first local phase of training camp today, and will depart Thursday for two weeks in Arizona.
We got some time with a couple of guys who figure to be crucial to the coming Sounders season: Clint Dempsey and Osvalso Alonso. Here’s some of what they had to say:
On preseason training in Seattle: Preseason is preseason no matter where you’re at.
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On speaking with national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann on preseason training: He sent a text to me, said some of the older-age players weren’t probably going to be involved and said it’s kind of up to you to make the decision. I thought it was best for me and how I build my body for the year to do it here.
On Sounders’ possible move to 4-3-3: We have to look at it and see. As long as the tactics are right, as long as we’re playing well, getting chances with it that will be good. But it’s how you play it. You don’t play it right you can get punished. Just make sure we work on it in our preseason and make sure it’s going to work for us.
On where is risk comes in: It just depends on how you build in the attack and how you get exposed defensively when you are attacking. You could sit here and talk all day about it. It’s something that we need to work on and train, the movements of everybody, the partnerships and how we’re going to play.
On Sounders and national team teammate Jordan Morris: He’s fit. He’s got some pace. But … I havent’ played with him at all, so it’s hard to say.
On his offseason return to Cuba: It was fantastic. After almost nine years I went back to my country. A nice thing for me. … I do everything. I went to the beach. I hang out with my family, friends, down there. I was happy to come back and see my hometown. … Everything the same, you know. Talking a lot of stuff. Almost nine years, coming back to see them … it was great for me.
On returning more regularly: Now it’s easy for me, I can go anytime.
On his health: This year is different, I start with everybody during preseason. I hope this year is better for me. I'm prepared for doing the best for the team.
On 2015 preseason injury: It’s tough when you have surgery. Now I’m 100 percent fit and playing with the team, so I’m ready for the season.
On what a 4-3-3 formation might mean to him: We have to see. We have time to work on the 4-3-3. Little by little to get used to that system. But you have to play soccer, you know; play our game and do the best for the team.
On offseason rumors that he might not return: I’m here. It’s the more important thing for us. I’m here and focused on the season with Seattle.