Soccer is known as the world’s sport, and Seattle Sounders has seldom been more aware of that than this week
The issues go far beyond their Saturday opponent: Toronto FC – although the Reds have some significant international issues of their own.
The Sounders trained Tuesday without central defender Roman Torres, who is away with the Panama national team, and midfielder Marco Pappa, who is away with the Guatemala national team. Meanwhile, forward Clint Dempsey, who could return Saturday when Toronto visits, is still scheduled to depart next week to join the U.S. national team for its Sept. 8 friendly with Brazil.
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, Tottenham Hotspur completed a loan deal that will send former Sounders defender DeAndre Yedlin to Sunderland for the rest of the English Premier League season.
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Some updates from coach Sigi Schmid on all of these international issues:
Call ins: Obviously Torres is captain of the Panamanian team. We had discussions with Panama. There’s a good relationship there: not an issue, but even though it’s an international fixture date and these are friendlies and preparation, there also at the stage now where they’re trying to figure things out in terms of their players’ bonus structure and things like that. As a captain he’s very important to that discussion for sure. And Pappa the opportunity for him to get games – and they’re playing World Cup qualifiers that will determine whether they advance into the next round or not, so we can’t really hold him back if they want him.
Could they play San Jose: Yeah, they should be. They both play their second game on Tuesday. Pappa’s in Aruba and Torres is in Venezuela, but Venezuela is not that far from Panama really.
Dempsey: It is what it is. I’m sure Jurgen and me are going to talk this week.
Yedlin to Sunderland: Obviously if they have an interest and they want him. I don’t know if they see him as a right midfielder or a right back. But I think for a player, when you’re in a situation where you feel you’re not going to get playing time, I think you’re always a little bit excited going into a situation where you think, hey, this team wants me now, so that means they’ll probably give me an opportunity to play here. So it’s a matter of what he does with that opportunity and playing time.
Toronto without Sebastian Giovinco (released from Italy national team due to adductor injury) and Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley to U.S. national team: Giovinco has had a fantastic season for them – certainly one of the revelations of the league. Altidore and Bradley, they’ve got good players. … You never know with Giovinco: I wouldn’t count him out entirely at this stage because it’s an adductor. Is it a strain? Is it something he recovers from a little bit quickly. Maybe it’s something where the national team says ‘We don’t want to rehab you here so go back home.’ So we play on Saturday: You never know. Altidore getting called in to the full team obviously takes away a piece from them up front, but they’ve had other people that have played there.