The Sounders are off the training pitch at CenturyLink Field. Obafemi Martins was there, Eddie Johnson wasn't -- in sort of a microcosm of a season where the club seems unable to ever get its entire first 11 on the pitch.
"I feel sad for the fans because we really haven’t been able to put the group together for a sustained period of time to see how they can respond and how they can gel together," coach Sigi Schmid said. "But the thing I’ll promise the fans is we’re going to come out and we’re going to roll up our sleeves and we’re going to fight and battle on Saturday afternoon, because they deserve it and because our team deserves it. It’s the most difficult situation we’ve been in injury-wise and with people coming in and out with call-ups but it it what it is and we’ve got to find a way to still be successful even with the obstacles in front of us."
Schmid didn't say with certainly that Martins would return at forward, but it sounded that way. Meanwhile, he gave this background on Johnson's return to the U.S. national team:
"I talked to Jurgen a couple of times. We had talked before their last game against Costa Rica, and he had told me what he was thinking, and I told him, ‘Well, keep thinking about it and call me after the game.’ And so sure enough my phone rang after the game, and we talked again. I know he’s brining Eddie, and I think he’s bringing Besler in from Kansas City, but he’s letting Omar play with LA. So from that standpoint, it wasn’t the best decision for us right now with our injuries."
Schmid also had these injury updates:
Martins: He trained today. He trained on Tuesday as well, so again if there are no repercussions we expect him to be there.
Brad Evans: He did more today. He felt better. There are still certain movements that are bothersome tohim, and I didn’t want him to take a hit or anything today at practice. So again, we’ll see how he feels, how the improvement is tomorrow. But there was significant improvement from Tuesday to today. … (MRI showed) there’s no cracked bone, but there’s a cartilage between the ribs that really gets inflamed if you get hit there. It’s basically a rib injury. There’s a possibility always that doesn’t show on an X-ray that there’s a slight stress fracture in the rib as well – those things happen all the time.
Djimi Troore and Shalrie Joseph: Shalrie is not ready to go. Djimi is improving quicker than we thought, but I don’t know if Saturday is going to be too soon or not.
Michael Gspurning: It’s the tendon in between the two bones, so it’s like a really badly sprained wrist, but a little bit higher up than a wrist sprain. Again we’re trying to get him more each day and hopefully it will make progress quicker rather than later.
Also training was midfielder Osvaldo Alonso, freshly cleared to play Saturday against Colorado after having his red card rescinded. He was expectedly happy and also came across as not at all surprised at his vindication.
"It’s even more important because we still have a bunch of guys injured," Schmid said. "So being able to have Ozzie back at least solidified the middle of midfield."