Sounders training officially ended this morning around 11:55 when assistant Brian Schmetzer told the team that work was done, but that they could stick around and work on individual issues for a while.
And that’s what everyone did: some for a few more minutes and others for an additional half hour or so. While veterans such as Chad Marshall and Tyrone Mears and relative youngers such as Aaron Kovar continued to work, Schmid was asked about the above-and-beyond quality of some of this team.
“That’s something we’ve always encouraged our team to do in terms of getting extra work in and having individual work and guys recognizing what they need to work on,
he said. “Some guys just like to stay out, like Chad Marshall, and strike balls. There’s other guys that want to do other shooting and so forth. We try to observe and make sure that guys aren’t pushing themselves into too much of a bad area. There are still guys who sometimes overtrain, and we try to make them aware of that.”
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Veteran Zach Scott used to be one of those players what Schmid thought overworked, and he seems to have taken the message to heart.
“Yeah, definitely we’ve talked to him about that, and a lot of the work that he did early on was work on his technique and so forth,” Schmid sadi. “And it’s like, ‘Hey, you’re about there that way,’ and it’s a matter of making sure your body is ready to play because you are getting older. So his balance between training and doing the work and making sure you’re strong – because that is one of the things you lose as you get older is your strength – he’s done a good job of balancing that.”
Scott likely returns to Seattle’s starting lineup Saturday when Columbus visits, thanks to the red-card suspension of center back Brad Evans. Schmid was asked how the 2016 Scott differs from the Scott of the 2009 expansion Sounders.
“He’s older,” Schmid said. “For sure he’s older. Over the years he’s done a lot of work in terms of improving his passing, improving his technical play. He’s a much better player with the ball than he’s ever been. He’s an experienced player. But he’s a guy that you know you can rely upon, and he’s always been that from day one. He’s still a competitor. I think probably the biggest improvement is just his ability on the ball.”
Does older mean notably slower or more fragile?
“No,” Schmid says. “I don’t think there’s been a substantial dropoff in any of those areas. He still does a good job maintaining his fitness: maintaining his fitness in the offseason as well. He’s a guy who knew as he got older that you can’t take a break and then come back into it, you’ve got to maintain it. He’s done a good job at that.”
More from Schmid:
On team attitude: We’re a team that believes in ourselves, and we know that we can play better than we did last week.
On Joevin Jones’ return to starting lineup vs. Colorado: It was a tough game to single out individuals because the unit didn’t play as well as we could play. It’s tough sometimes because everybody’s game becomes part of that and everybody’s goes down a little bit. We’re going to rise up this week, and he’ll be part of it.
On the Crew: They’re a good team. They’ve gotten off to a slow start, but they’re a team that likes to possess the ball, likes to spread the field, and likes to put their players in. They rely a lot on their pace up front with (Justin) Meram and (Ethan) Finlay and (Kei) Kamara. They look for (Federico) Higuain to knock those guys in.
On Jordan Morris leaving training early: He was just a little bit tight, so we told him just to go in. Today’s Thursday, we thought it would be fine by Saturday.
The Sounders return to training Friday.