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Originally published Saturday, January 31, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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Sounders FC camp highlights, Day 8

A Q&A with Sounders defender Zach Scott and a rundown of the Major Soccer League expansion team's training camp.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Today's Sounders FC Q&A is with defender Zach Scott, a Gonzaga graduate who finished the Seattle Marathon in 2007.

Kickin' it with ... Zach Scott

Position: Defender

Age: 28

Height: 5-11

Weight: 175

Hometown: Haiku, Hawaii.

Last club: USL Sounders.

Question: How does a guy from Hawaii end up over here?

Zach Scott: "Gonzaga actually recruited heavily from Hawaii when I went to school there. One of the assistant coaches was from Oahu so they looked at a lot of Hawaiian players. ... From Gonzaga my wife got a job in Seattle, and we knew we wanted to stay on the mainland for a while. Eventually we'll end up on Maui again but we knew we wanted to stay. She's got a great job and I got an opportunity to play with the Sounders and we're six years here."

Q: I was told you run marathons.

ZS: "I ran a marathon. It's something I've always wanted to do. Not this past offseason but the offseason before. I enjoy just getting out there and running,and it was something that, as soon as the season got done, I just jumped right into long-istance running, aiming for the Seattle Marathon. And I finished it, that's all I can say."

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Q: Plan on doing any more?

ZS: "Not any time soon, but absolutely. I really enjoyed the three and a half hours by myself. It was nice."

Q: You're one of the United Soccer League Sounders guys who got an invite to camp. How do you look at competing for a roster spot?

ZS: "I think it's great. I enjoy the challenge. I look at this as a great opportunity that's been handed to me. I'm obviously toward the latter stages of my career but being given this opportunity to play with a top-notch club like Sounders FC is fantastic."

Q: Do you try not to look at the numbers and see where you might fit on the final roster?

ZS: "I don't think you can help but not do that. Every single day my wife and I will speculate all we want about who just got signed, who hasn't been in camp or what the numbers are at my specific spot. But at the end of the day, [coach] Sigi [Schmid] said that we're the ones that earn the spot. He's not the one that chooses it. We're the ones that choose it for ourselves by the way we play. At the end, that's all you can ask for, really."

**

Day 8 highlights:

• Friday was the final practice before the team heads to Ventura and Oxnard in Southern California for a week of two-a-day practices followed by a week of scrimmages and/or preseason games. The two-a-days begin next Tuesday at Oxnard College, and two teams will be sharing the college fields with Seattle — Real Salt Lake of MLS and Shandong Luneneg Taishan of China. The team returns to Seattle on Feb. 14. "Our next phase is really where we're trying to build a fitness base," Schmid said. "That first week, we're really going to push them hard, really going to try to take them to another level fitness-wise."

• As for the games, Schmid expects players to be able to go for 45 to 60 minutes. "After that we'll be able to make some more evaluations, some more decisions on players as we narrow it down again before we go down to Argentina."

• Sounders FC brought in defender Mandou Bojang, who played with Seattle midfielder Sanna Nyassi in Gambia, for Friday's practice. "You've got to take those opportunities when they present themselves," Schmid said. Jacob Lensky, a midfielder from Vancouver B.C., opted not to accept an invitation to camp and was removed from the roster.

• The 11-on-11 scrimmage was a scoreless affair of two 25-minute halves. Forward Fredy Montero dazzled with a couple of slick moves with the ball and stood out with his performance. Montero and Nate Jaqua, who've been paired together on the front line in practice all week, were the Blue team forwards. Osvaldo Alonso and Brad Evans were center midfielders, Sebastien Le Toux played right midfield and Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar played left. Other Blue team players were James Riley (left back), Tyson Wahl (center back, Danny Jackson (center back) and Kevin Sakuda (right back) with Kasey Keller in goal. The Orange squad was left forward Steve Zakuani, center forward Roger Levesque, right forward Youssouf Kante, left midfielder Khano Smith, center midfielder Leighton O'Brien, right midfielder Kenji Treschuk and defenders Nathan Sturgis, Taylor Graham, Bojang and Scott. Chris Eylander was in goal. Adam West, Evan Brown and Sanna Nyassi came on as Orange substitutes.

• Schmid said third-round draft pick Jared Karkas, former Kansas City Wizards forward Ryan Pore, former D.C. United forward Quavas Kirk and forward Jeff Clark, who played at Concordia College in California last season will join the team next week, with others to follow.

• Defender John Fishbaugher (ankle), forward Jarrod Smith (hip) and midfielder-defender Steven King (toe) did not practice Friday. Defender Patrick Ianni was limited.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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