Seattle Sounders FC resumed practice Monday without forward Eddie Johnson and midfielder Osvaldo Alonso, who were attending Major League Soccer All-Star festivities in Chester, Pa.
Meanwhile, coach Sigi Schmid said he thinks more than two Sounders deserved All-Star recognition.
He indicated goalkeeper Michael Gspurning was having an All-Star season before he suffered a hip injury and one of the central defenders – Jeff Parke, Patrick Ianni or Jhon Kennedy Hurtado – was also deserving. Plus, Schmid said midfielder Andy Rose deserves rookie of the year consideration.
“Coming from the top, obviously that’s great to hear,” Rose said at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila. “… But that’s something I’ll think about in late December when the season’s over.”
In 2011, Rose was an All-Pacific-12 Conference first-team player for UCLA. He was obtained from Real Salt Lake after the 2012 MLS supplemental draft. As a rookie, he has appeared in 12 MLS matches, including seven starts, taking advantage of the opportunity when Brad Evans was limited by injury.
“Andy at that point offered us a little more mobility in midfield, so we went with Andy,” Schmid said. “But Brad’s got the versatility that allowed us to play him at right back in one game, allowed us to play him at outside midfield – which are positions that Andy can’t necessarily play. It’s been a good combination because it’s given us that freedom to move Brad around a little bit.”
Gspurning had a 0.46 goals-against average through seven MLS games before the hip injury. He recently resumed full practice and could play Saturday at Colorado for his first game since May 2.
The MLS All-Stars will play Chelsea FC of the English Premier League at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at PPL Park, home of the Philadelphia Union.
Last week, Schmid and general manager Adrian Hanauer downplayed – but didn’t deny – international reports that midfielder Alvaro Fernandez might transfer to Deportivo Cali of Colombia. On Monday, Fernandez took a similar approach.
“This isn’t anything new,” he said. “I’ve been a professional soccer player for a while, and there are always going to be rumors about this team or that team. But I’m really happy playing here in Seattle. I love the city, I love this team. And if something comes along that’s great for everybody, then we’ll look at it.”
Sounders Women and Sounders U-23 owner Lane Smith said both clubs will return in 2013. Over the weekend, Pali Blues of Fullerton, Calif., eliminated Sounders Women from the W-League playoffs, 1-0; while Sounders U-23 kept its PDL season alive with a 2-1 win over FC Tucson. Sounders U-23 will play a national semifinal Saturday at FC London (Ontario) in Canada.email@example.com 253-597-8808 blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer @donruiztnt