With no game this weekend, the Seattle Sounders ran through an hourlong full-field scrimmage Friday at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila.
Watching from the bench was coach Sigi Schmid, crutches beside him but back at work three days after undergoing partial knee-replacement surgery.
“The surgery went well, and the recovery has gone well so far,” he said.
Schmid had hoped to delay the surgery until after the season. However, when his knee pain became too great, he opted for this week — the final off week for the Sounders at least until the end of the Major League Soccer regular season in late October.
“It just kept getting worse and worse, and it was just painful all the time,” Schmid said. “Even like (Thursday), coming home and watching games on TV, being able to sit there and watch TV and have your leg up and not have it throb is a nice change of pace. I just felt it was getting so bad that I didn’t want to wake up in a bad mood and take it out on my team, so I figured I’d better get surgery.”
As it turned out, Schmid left the bad moods to others Friday.
During the scrimmage, Eddie Johnson and Patrick Ianni clashed, and then goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann joined in with a few shouted barbs at Johnson. After the game, first assistant Brian Schmetzer barked his displeasure at players who arrived late, who didn’t take their postgame stretch alongside their teammates, and who didn’t give proper mental effort in the match.
“In Germany, there’s a saying: ‘You need a spark to have a fire, and you always want a fire on your team, so it’s OK to have some sparks,’ ” Schmid said. “I thought the guys competed. I thought the game was good. Good goals. Eddie’s first goal was a good goal. ... Good goal by (David) Estrada, and good goal by Sammy (Ochoa). It was good. We got out of it what we wanted.”
Johnson scored the first goal almost instantly in his return from a few days off after duty with the U.S. national team.
“It was a good ball over the top ... from either Servando (Carrasco) or Zach Scott,” he said. “Just trying to ... get that understanding and chemistry. It’s day after day after day of training with each other. It’s good to have that timing right.”
The Sounders will go through light work Saturday, take Sunday off, and then return for two more sessions leading to their return to MLS play Wednesday night, when D.C. United visits CenturyLink Field. Schmid said he would coach that game from the sideline.
“The questions are, ‘Am I going to crutch it, am I going to cane it, or are they going to cart me over?’ ” he said. “So that’s the game-day decision.”
Outside defender DeAndre Yedlin was expected back in town Friday night after the United States was eliminated from the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey. He suffered a shoulder injury there, but Schmid said it isn’t expected to be serious and that Yedlin is not ruled out for the D.C. match. … Schmid said midfielder Mario Martinez’s call-in by the Honduras national team for CONCACAF Gold Cup duty is “a little bit of a confusing situation because we were told that he was not going to get called in to the Gold Cup roster.” Schmid said the Sounders remain unsure of when Martinez is expected to report to Honduras. ... Lamar Neagle (hip flexor strain) and Osvaldo Alonso (quadriceps strain) were limited in training Friday, but Schmid said Neagle is expected to fully participate Monday and Alonso soon thereafter.