Sounders trade soccer ball for softball bats

Apr 12, 2011, 3:37 PM | Updated: 5:24 pm

Sometimes you need a break from your normal routine.

So it was for Seattle Sounders FC at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila Tuesday morning.

Coach Sigi Schmid had his team divide into a couple squads for a slow-pitch softball game. At times it was quite comical. At times, quite competitive.

Schmid did similar things when he had the Los Angeles Galaxy. At times they would go to the beach for volleyball. Schmid says it’s great fun and team building.

On the mound was veteran goalkeeper Kasey Keller, who also swatted a game-winning three-run run homer. He wasn’t happy with his pitching performance, however. He served up two long home run blasts to defender Taylor Graham. The big guy from Stanford used just one arm to swing at the plate. Schmid says both shots were over the Black Monster; the Starfire fence is black, not green.

Some of the Latin soccer players are quite good when it comes to softball. Cuban-born Osvaldo Alonso looked more like Osvaldo Vizquel at shortstop according to Schmid.

Fredy Montero played first base, making sure he used his good hand to catch the softball. By the way, Montero is making progress from his wrist surgery, and might make the trip to Philadelphia for Saturday’s MLS match against the Union. Schmid says he’s not sure whether Montero will play, especially with the offensive chemistry the team has displayed the past couple games with Mauro Rosales subbing at forward for Montero.

Back to the softball game. Defender Leo Gonzalez is not a very good fielder. In fact, he trotted to the outfield wearing two mits! On the final play of the game he failed to catch a pop fly.

His teammates picked up the softball and threw perfect relays to Keller, who was covering home plate. “You’re out,” shouted the umpire, also known as Corky Trewin, the team photographer for the Sounders and Seahawks.

Steve Zakuani might want to try playing softball with his feet. His throw to first base drew chuckles from everyone in attendance.

Asked about the throw after practice, Schmid said, “Oh, you mean Mary Zakuani?”

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Sounders trade soccer ball for softball bats