After just two days back in the Northwest, the Seattle Sounders head out again Saturday for the next phase of preseason training, this time in Southern California.
The club returned from 10 days in Arizona on Wednesday, and now is about to spend six days at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California, in the Los Angeles area.
“One of the things we’re pretty happy with is we’re pretty injury-free coming out of (Arizona), and so that was a big plus,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “(A player’s) fitness can be fantastic, but he can’t play if he’s injured. So I think we’re pretty injury free. I think there were guys who were able to do pretty well for 70-75 minutes. And then the California portion, obviously we’ve got to get them pushed to 90.”
The Sounders will play a friendly against UCLA on Sunday afternoon, and another Wednesday against the Los Angeles Galaxy. An additional scrimmage also could be added to the itinerary.
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In Arizona, they played full friendlies against the Vancouver Whitecaps, Portland Timbers and Celaya FC. The first unit played only the first half in the first two games, but most played into the second half against the Mexican club, when homegrown forward Jordan Morris also got his first game action.
Seattle lost all three by 2-1 scores, with two goals from Darwin Jones and one from Nelson Valdez. The club also played 45- and 60-minute scrimmages against FC Tucson of the Premier Development League, winning 1-0 and 3-0.
The Sounders’ first meaningful competition of the new season comes Feb. 23, with the home leg of their CONCACAF Champions League semifinal series against Club America of Mexico City.
The Sounders will unveil new primary and third jerseys on Feb. 19. … Sounders FC on Friday announced a third official youth partnership, this time with the Spokane Soccer Club Shadow, the largest youth organization in Eastern Washington. Previous partnerships were announced with Seattle United and Twin City Youth Soccer Association of North Carolina.