Notes from Monday morning’s Sounders practice

7 02 2011

By my count, 30 players were on the field Monday morning in Casa Grande. Those included Blaise Nkufo, who has a calf strain from last week and his status for this week’s preseason games is unknown, and Taylor Graham, who actually did take part in a portion of the session.

Also, midfielder Brad Evans is apparently dealing with a quad injury sustained after he scored in the Sounders’ 1-0 win over Vancouver last Friday. He was limited in practice.

The roster appears to be at 32 in all, as two players missing Monday are injured. They were Nate Jaqua, who is back in the Northwest rehabbing, and Mike Seamon, who according to the club has an unspecified leg injury and was to be examined here in Arizona.

Practice featured a one-touch drill with teams of five essentially playing keep-away from the other team while two players were neutral and playing for both sides. The one I watched closest was the matchup between the yellow team (Leo Gonzalez, Tyson Wahl, Osvaldo Alonso, Michael Tetteh and Alvaro Fernandez) and the orange (James Riley, Mike Fucito, Lamar Neagle, Erik Friberg and Danny Earls). The two grey-shirted neutrals were O’Brian White and Servando Carrasco.

Practice drill

Then players were divided into groups so that two were playing mini-games and a third was taking shots from the top of the 18-yard box on goalkeepers Terry Boss, Kasey Keller, Bryan Meredith and Josh Ford.

It seems like the coaches have to let Alonso pull the trigger more often from long range. He fired two rockets for goals during the shooting drill. Keller’s best save came on a shot from Miguel Montano.

Jhon Kennedy Hurtado had some fun with keeper Terry Boss. He put a shot past the diving Boss and shouted “Tomala Terminator!”

“Tomala” is loosely translated to “Take that” in English, while apparently Hurtado has nicknamed Boss “The Terminator.”

El Presidente about to take a shot.

The team plays three training games this week before heading back to the Northwest – I plan to be at Thursday’s match against the Columbus Crew. Alas, my “real job” prevents me from much more coverage.

More photos, including a couple from nearby Vancouver Whitecaps practice, below:

Kasey Keller takes a breather

Post-practice jog

No. 13 is Whitecaps international Bedri Gashi (Switzerland/Kosovo)

Whitecaps warm up in the morning sunshine

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