The Sounders continued Tucson training again this morning, with a longer-than-usual shift for a day after a game. Coach Sigi Schmid said that was because almost everyone was limited to 45 minutes shifts Wednesday in 135 total game minutes against Vancovuer and Tucson FC.
Brad Evans, Jimmy Ockford and Roman Torres jogged on the side while their teammates worked. Evans is working his way back from a hamstring issue that developed while he was away with the national team, and indicated he’ll need a few more days to get back to full health. Ockford suffered a bruise during a tackle Wednesday, when he was a surprise stater in Evans’ spot. And the jogging indicates progress for Torres, who is rehabbing from a knee injury and is expected back by midseason.
Schmid says that 45-minute limit will likely remain Saturday when the Sounders play their next Desert Friendly against the Portland Timbers.
More from Schmid:
On playing Timbers as reigning MLS Cup champs: It’s not something we’re happy about for sure, but definitely congratulations to them for winning the championship. We wanted to establish ourselves as being a consistent team and a team that’s always going to be in contention. When you look at our years in the league, we’ve been in the playoffs, we’ haven’t missed. We’ve been in the running every year. We just haven’t won the ultimate prize. We’re happy with our start, we’re happy with what we’ve done. Are we ecstatic? Because we didn’t win the ultimate prize, probably not at this stage. But we’re definitely happy with the consistency that we’ve shown over our years in the league.
On if Portland’s title changes any perception as the big brother of Cascadia: The whole rivalry is pretty intense and runs pretty deep. I think if they feel there’s a big-brother attitude I think it comes more from them than it comes from them. I don’t think we try to portray it that way.
Overview of first week of Arizona training: We’re happy wehre we are. I think we played better as the game went on last night. There’s still some things we need to work out. Some things we’ll talk about tomorrow tactically as we train that I want to see us change and then we’ll see how it works on Saturday.
On possible midfield role for Evans: We’re looking at him as a center back.