A couple of goalkeepers with local connections trained along with the Seattle Sounders on Tuesday.
Working at Starfire Sports Complex were Tally Hall, a 2003 graduate of Gig Harbor High School, and Josh Ford, who played for the Sounders from 2011-2014.
“(Ford) asked if he could come in and train with us, so we said yeah because he’s been with us in the past and Orlando didn’t pick him up,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “He was supposed to go somewhere else and that fell through at the last second. And then Tally Hall is a local kid who’s still not ready to play at this stage (because of injury). And again (goalkeeper coach Tom Dutra) has a history with him, and he’s asked if he could come in and get himself more fit.”
Schmid clarified that training with a team is different from trying out for a team. He repeated that the Sounders are comfortable heading into the season with 2015 draft picks Charlie Lyon and Tyler Miller as reserve keepers.
“They’re in a fight,” Schmid said. “… Charlie, I think, showed that a number of times last year with S2. Tyler unfortunately got injured and only played one game there. But obviously these are two guys we drafted, and we drafted them for a reason: because we think they can play.”
There is no real competition for the starting job, which belongs to Stefan Frei for the third consecutive season. Frei appeared in all 34 regular-season Major League Soccer matches last year, setting a club record with 111 saves.
He also expressed confidence in Lyon and Miller.
“Their work ethic is phenomenal: second to none,” Frei said. “They’re very, very hungry. I’m a hungry goalkeeper as well. So we push each other. … Hopefully they can learn something off of me. I know they’re willing to and eager to. And the same thing with me: I want to learn something off of them. Hopefully we can keep ourselves going like that and progress.”
Hall, 30, was born in SeaTac and played collegiate soccer at San Diego State. He joined MLS in 2009 with the Houston Dynamo, and was an All-Star in 2011. He made 23 appearances with expansion Orlando City last season before going out with a meniscus tear. In November, the Lions declined his contract option.
Ford, 28, was selected by Seattle in the 2011 supplemental draft. He spent three injury-plagued seasons with the team before joining Hall in Orlando last year. Ford again filled mostly a reserve role there, but he started the final game: a 1-0 loss at Philadelphia.
Sounders 2 will open its 2016 United Soccer League season with five consecutive home games. The first is March 25 when the Sacramento Republic visits Starfire Sports Stadium.
The other home games: March 30 against Arizona; April 3, San Antonio; April 12, Rio Grande Valley; April 17, Colorado Springs; May 1, Oklahoma City; May 8, Tulsa; May 22, Los Angeles; June 9, Vancouver; June 26, Swope Park Rangers; July 10, Colorado Springs; July 24, Portland; Aug. 1, Real Monarchs; Aug. 29, Portland; Sept. 2, Vancouver.
“The more games you can play with these young players, the better you can develop them quickly and get them ready for the first team,” coach Ezra Hendrickson said. “And that’s the object of S2: first identifying the players that we think have the talent and potential for the first team, and then fast-tracking that process to get them ready for MLS play.”
The entire schedule is available at SoundersFC.com/s2/schedule.
For the second consecutive season, midfielder Aaron Kovar won the Sounders’ annual beep test and the accompanying title of fittest player on the roster. Cristian Roldan finished second and Darwin Jones third. Roman Torres (knee) and Andy Craven (knee) were the only players not to compete. … Seattle’s top 2016 draft choice (27th overall) Tony Alfaro is getting work at left back, although Schmid says his natural spot might be left-footed centerback.