BY Andrew Harvey 11:00AM 08/21/2015

Torres becoming force on Sounders’ back line

In the view of keeper Stefan Frei, integration of the Sounders’ new center back, Román Torres with the back line is proceeding smoothly following his first start against Orlando City followed by a substitute appearance Wednesday.

“So far so good,” said Frei Thursday, ahead of  a trip to Utah Saturday (7 p.m. PT, KCPQ Ch. 13) in pursuit of three points on the road against Real Salt Lake. “We have to keep working on communication. He’s probably working right now on his English and we’re trying to pick up a couple words here and there to help him out in Spanish.

“Obviously, he’s a specimen, so he gets respect from any opponent. We know he’s got tons of experience, so he’s a really good addition to our team.”

The Sounders (11-12-2), who have malingered this summer in league play, have some momentum off a 4-0 dismantling of Orlando City, followed by a gritty 2-1 win against Champions League opponent C.D. Olimpia.

RSL (7-10-8) is second from last in the Western Conference and on a three-game skid, including a 6-4 scoring bonanza against league leaders D.C. United Aug. 1. Javier Morales leads the club with five goals and nine assists. RSL also signed Aug. 13 a new DP, Juan “El Burrito” Martinez.

Seattle’s back line has also been bolstered by the addition of Oniel Fisher at left back. Fisher remains humble, despite his recent success.

“I’m just trying to get as much recovery as I can, trying to get the legs ready to go again if I get to play 90 minutes again,” said the Jamaican defender. “There’s still more to learn, there’s always space for improvement. I’m just trying to stay consistent and improve on what I’ve already done to get more minutes with the first team.”

Fisher said the veteran presences of Chad Marshall, Torres and Tyrone Mears in the back line are helping the 23-year-old adapt to defending in MLS.

“It’s good knowing that I’m playing with those guys,” he said. “They’re guiding me on what steps to take, where to go. They’re a good motivational force for me with everything that I have going right now.”

Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid predicted a tough match.

“They’re a team that’s becoming desperate for points,” he said, “but we’re a team that also needs our points, so it’s going to have a playoff feel to it.”



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