The Sounders returned to practice this morning at Starfire Sports Complex. However, star midfielder Freddie Ljungber was not there, returning to Sweden instead after the death of his grandmother.
Ljungberg is expected to rejoin the team on Thursday. That means he will miss the U.S. Open Cup game Tuesday at Starfire, but should be back with his teammates before they leave Friday for their Saturday date in Chicago against the unbeaten Fire.
It seems unlikely that Ljungberg would have played in the Open Cup game anyway. Coach Sigi Schmid says he likes the Cup competition and wants his team to do well in it. However, he is promising to start a lineup mixing regulars with reserves. That probably means that Chris Eylander will start in goal for Kasey Keller, for example. And it probably would have meant something similar for Ljungberg.
One other bit of news: After further review, John Kennedy Hurtado's secondary assist from last night now has been removed.
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after reviewing the first Seattle goal vs. San Jose, MLS officials ruled that Hurtado's flick was not intended for Tyrone Marshall. The deflection by the defender provided a loose ball for Marshall to pick up and his pass created the scoring play. Therefore Hurtado will not be credited for a secondary assist on the goal by Steve Zakuani.