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Sounders ready for busy stretch

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By Don Ruiz
The News Tribune
The Seattle Sounders' four-day break from training ended Monday, and their three-week break from the Major League Soccer season ends Saturday with a match in Montreal.
That's when everything breaks loose again in a clatter of MLS, U.S. Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League matches.
"Yeah, the alphabet soup that we have to do," coach Sigi Schmid said. "It's good to get back into MLS play. (Then) we come back with an unbelievable run of like seven games in 22 days. It's tough."
After a similarly busy run through May, Schmid let his club take advantage of a game-free weekend with four days away from the pitch.
That ended Monday at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila.
"We were just trying to get the legs back under them," Schmid said. "(Today) we'll let them play a little bit so we get some rhythm. And Wednesday is the one day we can train, and then we're getting ready for our game. And after that, it's from one game to the other game to the next game."
Seattle will resume league play with a 7-3-3 record, good for third place in the Western Conference.
The Montreal match jumpstarts a stretch of three MLS games in nine days for the Sounders -- followed by a home date with Kansas City on June 20 and then a trip to Portland on June 24.
Two days later, the current Open Cup schedule sends the Sounders on to the Bay Area for a quarterfinal match against San Jose. Seattle is trying to move that game back a day to avoid playing two games in three days. However, no quick agreement has been struck, and the Earthquakes already are selling tickets for the game as scheduled on June 26.
Health update
Schmid said his club returned to training in relatively good health.
Previously hobbled players such as Leo Gonzalez, Mauro Rosales and Alvaro Fernandez all trained. Patrick Ianni worked with trainer Dave Tenney.
Also training was Steve Zakuani, who has been upgraded on the MLS injury report from "out" to "doubtful" for the first time since sustaining leg injuries April 22, 2011, in Colorado.
"Everybody took a step forward," Schmid said. "We look at (Zakuani) day by day."
Story tags » Sounders FC

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