It was a quick practice for the Sounders today, as they prepare to head down I5 this afternoon ahead of tomorrow’s game versus the Portland Timbers. With an early start tomorrow (2:30 p.m. PST), the team elected to stay overnight in Portland. That start time has been the source of some consternation, as this playoff rivalry match will be going on at the same time the Seattle Seahawks take on the Los Angeles Chargers at Century Link field.
To be sure, this is not a decision that the Sounders sanctioned. ESPN had the first choice of games to fill their two TV slots (12:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.), and they were always going to select the Sounders game. This was likely always about both having the most enticing matchup, as well as preventing FS1 from getting the game. So contact ESPN with your complaints.
With that out-of-the-way, the short practice did not provide much to see, but the most important thing was that Brad Smith completed full training for the first time since his injury. He will be an option for the team tomorrow, but whether he starts or not is another question. Nouhou also went through full training with no issues.
“The guys are in good spirits.” Coach Brian Schmetzer said. “We’ll head down to Portland and get to work.” With two important Portland players on yellow cautions (Liam Ridgewell and Diego Chara), Schmetzer does not think that will change what the team will try to do. “We don’t go out to make guys get yellows.” Schmetzer said. “We go out to play soccer.”
Jordan Morris recovery watch:
Getting ever closer, Morris continues to increase his training load. He got stuck in during some training exercises, at one point going to ground to break up a pass. That sequence got a “welcome back, kid” from the coaching staff. Obviously not an option for this game, or the series for that matter. If the Sounders advance, we shall check in again.