Sounders coach Sigi Schmid implied Wednesday that he wasn't going to give any more injury information this week because of the silence on that topic from the Galaxy. In a conference call this morning, LA coach Bruce Arena was asked about the health of his team, and his policy on what he discloses:
"We never give information on injuries, starting lineup, that kind of thing," he said. "Whether Sigi cares to do it or not doesn’t matter to us. For years the MLS had a weekly injury report that was largely inaccurate. Until somebody comes up with a rule that you’re required to do it and it has to be accurate, I think it’s pointless in giving injury reports and lineups during the week, and that’s just been our philosophy. So we’re consistent with it. It may be a big deal among our media, I don’t know, I don’t ask, I don’t tell them, and that’s the way we go on. We’ll have 11 players on the field on Sunday."
Even with the topic mostly off the table, Sounders captain Brad Evans did give strong indication that Seattle midfielder Osvaldo Alonso's leg injury is healing up well enough for his return this week.
"First and foremost, I think Ozzie’s recovery has been great this week," Evans said. "I look forward to having him in the midfield on Sunday. I think that adds a little bit of a boost to us, whether that’s more mental than anything, sometimes those things can give you a little bit of a raise, especially playing at home. We look forward to a tightly contested game."
Never miss a local story.
LA defender Omar Gonzalez had this to say about Alonso's potential return: I think Alonso definitely changes their team. He’s a big part of their team. I think he’s the MVP for their team for the last four years or something like that, and so he’s very instrumental to how they play, and he’s crucial to them for how they play. He runs everywhere, he makes tackles, he breaks plays up, and he also gets into the attack. I believe these playoffs he has their only goal, and so when he steps on the field again, not only does he break up plays, but he’s very capable of scoring a goal. We just have to figure out a way to get around him, and I’m sure we will.
And finally, Arena was asked about the 6 p.m. Sunday start for the match, which will put it in conflict with the heavy shopping weekend, the NFL, and "the midseason finale of "The Walking Dead":
"I think for the people in our sport it’s a huge game," Arena said. "For people outside the sport, this particular rivalry I’m told some weeks ago drew some large ratings, so I imagine there’s some other large interest involved in the game. Whenever we play on a Sunday in the fall in our country we compete with the NFL. HBO is on Sunday’s regardless. So that’s all part of the challenge in growing our sport. I think you’re going to see a capacity crowd at the game. I think you’re going to see good television ratings. And hopefully you’re going to see a good game. This game and our sport is moving along quite well at the moment."