Nkufo will be back tomorrow when the team continues work for its Wednesday night Champions League game against Marathon. However, even though that game will be at Qwest, the practice again will be at Starfire. It has been the Sounders custom to practice once at Qwest before each game there, but coach Sigi Schmid said the team is familiar enough with the stadium and it is better to get them off of FieldTurf for a while.
Also practicing with the team today was James Riley, who returned to the starting lineup in Chicago after missing two league games with an ankle injury.
"It felt fantastic," Riley said after the game. "I don’t think I’m 100 percent. Kudos to the guys around me helping me out. ... I felt a little rusty early on. I thought I got some services in defensively, just being able to move around like my nimble self. It felt good just to be back out on the field again and with the guys."
Also practicing today was defender Patrick Ianni, who left the Chicago game briefly after colliding heads on a corner kick. Ianni worked today with an amazing black eye, and with six stitches along his left eyebrow.
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"Normal soccer," he said of the incident. "I through the corner was going to get through. (Nate) Sturgis played a good ball, and I thought it might get through, and Ozzie (Alonzo) ended up heading it. I didn’t quite end up seeing that part. … It was one of those things where it hurt when it happened, and it looks bad for a few days."
Schmid's take: "Ianni looks like Rocky Balboa, a little bit."