Martins Looking Sharp and Ready for 2014 at Sounders Training
by Shayna Gosney
The Sounders took to the practice field yesterday under steady rainfall for their last session at home before traveling to Charleston, SC for 12 days. The focus in training was on one- and two-touch possession, quick passing combinations, moving the ball intelligently forward from the back and finally some finishing drills.
With the near certainty of roster cuts before Wednesday’s trip to Charleston, the club’s trialists needed to push for strong performances. The standout performer among them was again Kevin Parsemain, who was both comfortable on the ball and opportunistic and accurate with his shots. In defence Michael Azira looked calm and confident and could be a positive option for depth at right-back.
The Sounders’ young players looked to prove their worth with the first team as well, with decisions on loan moves also likely to be made in the near future.
Dylan Remick had a good showing defensively, demonstrating solid decision-making and strong tackling skills. Damion Lowe also looked very assured and should be a valuable option for depth and rotation in the back.
In the finishing drills, Obafemi Martins was sharp, fresh and very hungry, which should excite Sounders fans.
Though they were few, each chance not clinically finished caused obvious disappointment in himself; each goal scored was celebrated.
Martins looks to be enjoying his work and performing at a high level at this point in preseason, likely benefitting from a proper off-season.
One final standout performer on the day was goalkeeper Josh Ford, who showcased incredible shot-stopping abilities throughout the finishing drills. While he could benefit from work on claiming crosses, the Sounders’ third-choice keeper appeared sharp and well on his game.
- DeAndre Yedlin did not practice today, out with what was described by coach Sigi Schmid as a minor ankle sprain. Schmid didn’t seem the least bit concerned about the right-back, who was spotted (walking unassisted) in the Starfire complex.
- Leo Gonzales practiced fully without restrictions and appears likely to see game time with the club in Charleston.