Fredy Montero, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Osvaldo Alonso practiced together for the first time today in Argentina. (SoundersFC.com photo)
Sounders FC have completed their second day of training in Argentina. The club send out the following recap.
Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, the new Seattle Sounders FC central defender, arrived at the hotel during the team breakfast on Thursday. He smiled and circulated around the room for handshakes with his new coaches and teammates. Hurtado received a hug from his friend, Fredy Montero, who has known him for five years. The two played together at Deportivo Cali last year. Hurtado took an overnight flight from Bogota to Buenos Aires after departing Cali earlier Wednesday.
Hurtado was issued his gear and less than two hours later joined the rest of the team for a 90-minute training session, which began at 11 A.M. local time under clear skies and ended with temperatures pushing into the low 80s (Fahrenheit). The practice included extended drills with the attacking players working on crosses and finishing while defensive personnel focused on keeping possession and building out of the back.
Sounders FC will play its first training game on Friday morning (11 A.M. local, 5 A.M. PT) at Estudiantes de La Plata.
General manager Adrian Hanauer arrived at the hotel just as the team was served lunch.
Sigi Schmid and several members of his coaching and support staff will attend Thursday night’s Copa Libertadores group stage game between Estudiantes de La Plata and Bolivia’s Universitario. On Sunday, the entire team will go to the La Bombonera, home of Boca Juniors, to see an Argentine first division game against Huracan. Schmid is also interested in attending training sessions held by the various Buenos Aires first division teams during the next week.
The Word from Coach Schmid
“It’s gone alright. The second day is always the toughest day. The first day you’re sort of like a zombie and you just keep going, keep moving and you sort of don’t realize what you’re doing. The second day is where fatigue hits you a little bit and the time change will hit you. But the team’s done well.
“We play in a league where you go through three-hour time changes. It’s not six hours like this, but you have to adjust to it. There’s certainly a physiological adjustment, but also part of it is psychological, and in our league it’s important to deal with time changes and not let it slow you down psychologically.”“Watching games here is a learning experience and it’s also fun. The learning experience comes from the fact that you always see more live than you do on TV. So much of the game is played without the ball and on TV all you really see is the ball. When you go to a game live, you see how high they push the line of defense, where they establish their line of defense, how the players move away from the ball, how they set-up space on the far side of the field. You see all those things by watching the game live. And I love soccer, so I love going to soccer games. You feel the atmosphere in the stadium. This will be my first Copa Libertadores game and my first game at Estudiantes. That’s the fan aspect of it: now I can say I’ve done that.”