Not all of the Seattle Sounders who trained last week in Arizona will be with the club Saturday when it flies out for Florida.
A second major round of cuts is being made this week. And while the youngest players seem most vulnerable, coach Sigi Schmid has said it’s time for second- and third-year players to produce or the newcomers will be given their turn.
That raises the stakes for players such as midfielder Mike Seamon and forward David Estrada. And they know it.
“That’s one thing I had a conversation with (assistant coach Brian Schmetzer about),” Estrada said. “I’ve been here for two years. I ended up the year strong, and I’m hoping to build on that and bring that consistency I showed at the end of last year.”
Estrada was taken with the 11th pick in the 2010 SuperDraft after being a four-time all-conference player at UCLA. As a rookie, he appeared in three games with one start. Those numbers repeated in his second season.
Now, he hopes improvement and versatility will bring him a third chance to establish his pro career.
“To be able to be consistent at every position, that’s how I want to make the team,” he said. “(Roger Levesque) is able to play right mid, right back, up top, and score goals, too. That’s one of the guys I look up to.”
Seamon was taken with the 27th pick of the 2010 draft. As a rookie, he made eight MLS appearances with three starts. Last season, he made no league appearances, but started all 10 Reserve League matches. His season ended Sept. 12 when he was placed on the disabled list with a lateral ankle-tendon injury.
As recent as the 2010 draft might seem, Seamon understands camp now includes two waves of even younger players pushing for jobs.
“I seem to be more of a veteran because a lot of the older guys have left,” Seamon said. “And some of the guys who came in are veterans, but not to this league. So I do have a little bit of knowledge in terms of the game here, and this should be a turning point in my career, hopefully.”
Schmid said he had an offseason discussion with Seamon, which seems to have been heeded.
“I told him you have to decide to be serious about this if you want to be a soccer player,” Schmid said. “He’s committed himself physically. He’s lost weight, his body fat is way down, he came in fitter than he’s ever been. So from that standpoint, he’s made real strides, and I think his soccer follows that. Speed is maybe not his greatest asset, but he’s got decent quickness. By being fitter now, he’s going to be able to show those abilities more often.”
The Sounders train today at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila. The next day, the reduced roster leaves for Florida.
Jaguares de Chiapas of the Mexican Primera Division will provide the opposition for the Community Shield match Feb. 29 at CenturyLink Field. Admission is free, but donations for the club’s charity partners will be accepted at the gate. Gates will open an hour before the 7 p.m. kickoff, and seating is first come, first served through the lower east bowl. The Sounders announced that about 14,000 tickets have been sold for their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal home match against Santos Laguna on March 7. Single-game tickets for the MLS season go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday. The home game against Real Salt Lake, originally set for July 18 at CenturyLink Field, has been rescheduled for Oct. 17. The club also announced its Sept. 8 home match against Chivas USA will start at 1 p.m.