Seattle Sounders homegrown Ethan Dobbelaere at training
Sounders FC Communications

Seattle Sounders ramp up training ahead of MLS is Back Tournament

There’s a distinct difference from individual fitness routines and full-team training. It's a feeling Seattle Sounders midfielder Cristian Roldan gets in his legs.

“You start to feel some heavy legs,” Roldan said at Starfire Sports Wednesday. “That’s what you want. That’s when you know soccer is completely different than just fitness. It’s great to see us back 100 percent and seeing some of the chemistry on the field is great to see. But in the end, it’s just one step closer to playing games.”

The Sounders are ramping things up to participate in the MLS is Back Tournament where they’re in Group B, alongside FC Dallas, Cascadia rival Vancouver Whitecaps and the San Jose Earthquakes.

Forward Will Bruin knows advancing out of the group will be difficult, but the defending MLS Cup champions have a solid resume of making deep tournament runs.

“I think it’s going to be a very intense tournament, competitive tournament,” Bruin said. “We just have to focus on us. We’ve shown that if we do that, our track record speaks for itself.”

They’ll head to Orlando, though, without Harry Shipp, who announced his retirement Tuesday after seven years in MLS. The 28-year-old will be pursuing an MBA at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

“He was a fantastic player for us, such a good player, a reliable player to have both on the bench and on the pitch, always showed up to train extremely hard,” Roldan said. “Nothing but great things to say about my boy Harry Shipp.”

Added Bruin: "Just having him around the locker room, it's like giving your little brother some banter so I'm going to miss giving him some trouble."