Sounders FC was back at training Thursday, and on the pitch were two players who had spent part of the season getting game experience with other clubs.
Second-year defender/midfielder Michael Tetteh and rookie defender Andrew Duran each said they benefitted from their time loaned out to North American Soccer League clubs.
“I had talked to some people that had gone on loan before. They all said it was good,” Duran said. “Once I was down there, I thought it was amazing: to get games and just to get my fitness in because there’s nothing like playing a game. You can replicate it as much as you want at practice, but nothing is the same as playing in games.”
Duran, selected 15th overall in the 2012 SuperDraft, was loaned to the Atlanta Silverbacks, where he played 551 minutes while splitting time between right back and center back. His season was cut short when he suffered a knee injury that could keep him out until early next season.
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Tetteh, selected 20th overall in the 2011 SuperDraft, played about three games in Florida with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.
“I think overall it was good,” he said. “I wanted to get games, and I got to play like two-and-a-half games because I got that red card. But overall, it was good for me to get away and experience that. Overall, I thought it went well.”
It was the second time Tetteh had been sent out on loan, after spending part of last season with Orlando City.
He said he remains happy in Seattle but doesn’t know if he will remain with the club over the long term.
The Sounders aren’t sure about that either.
“Our thoughts will turn to that when our season is over,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “He’s a quality player. He went down there and he did well down there, playing in more offensive positions. And that’s something we have to evaluate with Michael: whether playing as a left back is something that makes sense, or is he more of a wide-attacking player; and then he goes into a different mix of players, and how does he come out of that competition.”
FEBRUARY IN TUCSON
The Sounders have been named to the field of the 2013 Desert Diamond Cup, to be played Feb. 13-23 in Tucson, Ariz. Also taking part will be the New England Revolution, New York Red Bulls and Real Salt Lake.
The competition will be part of the Sounders’ training for the next MLS season and also for their resumption of CONCACAF Champions League play next spring.
“In terms of CONCACAF, we have the freedom within their tournament structure to still try to schedule something outside of it,” Schmid said, “so we can still try to schedule a Mexican or a Central American team to sort of show that style. … (It’s also) a little bit almost like a spring training thing, so it should be something nice for the Seattle community and the fans of the Sounders.”
Seattle’s home match with Real Salt Lake on Wednesday has been picked up for national broadcast by NBCSN. The game also can be seen locally on Ch. 6/16 and regionally on Root Sports. … Schmid said he appreciated the supporters-created tifo unfurled before the match against Portland on Sunday. “I thought it was a better likeness than I expected,” he said. “I thought it was a great honor.” The Guardian website from the United Kingdom included the tifo in a photo gallery of the best stadium displays from around the world. (More information and photo available at blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer.)
Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808 firstname.lastname@example.org/soccer