Sounders FC goalkeeper Michael Gspurning is on target to reclaim his starting job when Seattle returns to the pitch July 28 at Colorado.
Gspurning has been out since suffering a hip injury May 2.
The Sounders gave up three goals over the seven games Gspurning started, and have given up 16 over the 12 league matches since, with Bryan Meredith and Andrew Weber sharing the job.
Those numbers make Gspurning the obvious No. 1 when he’s ready to go.
However, coach Sigi Schmid said there is no such clarity in the No. 2 competition between Meredith, Weber and Josh Ford, who has missed most of this season due to a knee injury.
“Clear as mud,” Schmid said. “Meredith’s had an opportunity. Weber’s had an opportunity. ... Ford, I thought, did all right (in the 4-2 loss to Chelsea). He’s now healthy. Does he have enough game time? Maybe he’s still a little bit behind just because of the game time. But there are reserve games coming up. ... It will clarify itself next week.”
Ford made his first-team debut Wednesday, playing the final 45 minutes against the European champions. All four Chelsea goals were scored against Meredith.
“It went pretty well: no goals scored in the second half,” Ford said. “I felt really calm. I just wanted to go out there, play my game, and show what I had. ... I just tried to view it as a regular game, a regular approach and just be confident. That’s one thing I have to be is confident: Show the guys that I’m back here and you’ll be fine.”
Brad Evans left the Chelsea match with a knee injury. However, he was at training Thursday, and Schmid said he doesn’t expect the injury to last much beyond the beginning of next week.
Schmid also said Cordell Cato (medial collateral ligament) and Alex Caskey (hamstring) should be available when the club returns to practice Monday.
The coach planned three days without training in the hopes it will be useful break for his club leading into the Colorado game, and a busy August that will mix MLS with the start of CONCACAF Champions League on Aug. 2 and the U.S. Open Cup final Aug. 8.
“We really want them to get away,” Schmid said. “So, maybe it’s go out and play some tennis, or go swim in the lake, or do something different than just come practicing every day. It’s a little bit to free your mind as well.”
Even with the busy schedule ahead, Schmid said midfielder Steve Zakuani could be loaned to a second-division club in an attempt to get him playing time while returning from two leg fractures suffered in April 2011.
“It’s a very fluid situation, so I don’t know if it’s going to happen or not happen,” Schmid said. “(He would be) in a situation where he gets 90 minutes or close to it, gets a chance fitness-wise, gets in the rhythm of a game and then he rejoins your team after a game or two with (the other club).”