Sounders FC head coach was clear during Thursday’s media teleconference that his team was out to win the tournament and at the same take no opponent lightly.
“We’re not looking at ourselves as the favorites, we’re not looking at this as we’re the defending champs, we’re just going to roll teams over,” Schmetzer said. “We’re too smart for that. Our first opponent, San Jose, is a very, very good team.
The Sounders had their first full team scrimmage last week in preparation for next months tournament in Orlando. There will bea group stage cosisting of 16 consecutive days with each MLS club playing three games against its group members. The tournament will continue with a knock out stage featuring the group winners, followed by quarterfinal , semifinals and the tournament championship game.
To win any tournament a team needs some good luck and depth. Sounder FC luck has anything but good. Midfielder Harry Shipp retired last week, and forward Will Bruin sustained a tibia injury during practice this week. The next test for the Rave Green will be the quality of the team’s depth. Schmetzer was asked if he would be hesitant to play his younger players.
“I’m not going to be afraid to throw a young player on there if one of the senior players has heavy legs and you’ve got a couple extra subs and a burst of young enthusiasm, energy, they’re going to try and impress the coaches — sometimes that’s a good thing to have in your arsenal,” Schmetzer said.
MLS IS BACK TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE – SOUNDERS FC
|DAY||DATE||OPPONENT||KICKOFF (PT) / TV|
|Friday||July 10||San Jose Earthquakes||7:30 p.m. / ESPN, ESPN Deportes|
|Wednesday||July 15||FC Dallas||6:00 a.m. / ESPN, ESPN Deportes|
|Monday||July 20||Vancouver Whitecaps FC||7:30 p.m. / TUDN|