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Originally published February 10, 2012 at 8:35 PM | Page modified February 10, 2012 at 9:50 PM

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Sounders FC roster getting close to season shape

Sounders FC's training camp roster stands at 35 players after another round of cuts. The team plans to carry around 29 for the upcoming season.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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TUKWILA — Sounders FC took another step toward finalizing its opening-day roster this week by making a handful of training-camp cuts.

Gone are MLS Supplemental Draft picks Tim Pontius, Jason Banton and Wes Feighner; Jamaican invitee Andrew Vanzie; and Honduran trialist Ever Alvarado.

Some of them, however, could be back with the team in the future, according to coach Sigi Schmid.

"We just felt at the moment that we were OK in certain positions," Schmid said, "but there's still a couple of young guys that we think have potential and we'll keep our eyes on them."

The camp roster stands at 35 players as of Friday's practice at the Starfire Sports Campus. MLS rules limit rosters to 30 at the start of the season; the Sounders plan to carry about 29.

Unsigned players still in camp are MLS SuperDraft picks Andrew Duran and Babayele Sodade; goalkeeper Andrew Weber; midfielders Andy Rose and Alex Caskey; defender Harlinton Gutierres; and goalkeeper Chris Blais, a Seattle native who joined the team Friday.

Blais was drafted in January by the San Jose Earthquakes but was released from camp earlier this month.

Schmid doesn't anticipate any additions in Bradenton, Fla., where training camp heads for 10 days starting Saturday, but said the team is always open to trying out new players.

"If the right situation comes along, obviously we'll take advantage of it and have that guy on the team," he said. "(If) somebody's going to lose a spot, that's the way it is — it's the pros."

Big-league competition?

General manager and part owner Adrian Hanauer said he doesn't know if the addition of an NBA and/or NHL team to Seattle would hurt the Sounders. This was in response to recent arena developments that could change the local sports scene.

"Generally, as a Seattle guy, anything that improves the quality of life in the region, development in the city, I'm in favor of," Hanauer said Friday. "If there's competition, we just have to rise to the occasion and be good competitors and good partners."

Notes

• Hanauer said it's "very likely" that Mauro Rosales will be the team's third designated player for the upcoming season after the midfielder received a significant offseason raise. Fredy Montero and Alvaro Fernandez are the other DPs, meaning only a portion of their higher salaries count toward the salary cap.

• Defender Adam Johansson had his first local practice Friday. Signed in December, the 28-year-old joined camp in Arizona after serving with Sweden's national team in January.

• The team hopes to have a better understanding of Josh Ford's lingering knee issue by early next week. The second-year goalkeeper had to return to Seattle from Arizona last week due to the injury. Mike Fucito (leg), O'Brian White (leg) and Caskey (concussion) also didn't practice with the team Friday.

• Schmid said Weber, 28, and second-year goalkeeper Bryan Meredith are in a battle for the backup job behind starter Michael Gspurning, calling it a "very competitive situation."

• Midfielder/defender Michael Tetteh has rejoined training after missing the Arizona trip with a hamstring injury.

• Limited seating is available for the team's third annual kickoff luncheon on March 9 at CenturyLink Field, where fans can watch the team practice and meet players, coaches and members of the front office. Registration is open at SoundersFC.com.

Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or jmayers@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @joshuamayers.

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