Sounders FC

Coach Sigi Schmid returns to Sounders after hospital stay, but he won’t travel to San Jose

Seattle Sounders Sigi Schmid, shown during an MLS match in June, returned to practice Thursday after being hospitalized but he will not travel with the team for Saturday’s match at the San Jose Earthquakes. “I could fly, that’s not an issue,” Schmid says. “… But the doctors wanted me to stay in this area for at least a week.”
Seattle Sounders Sigi Schmid, shown during an MLS match in June, returned to practice Thursday after being hospitalized but he will not travel with the team for Saturday’s match at the San Jose Earthquakes. “I could fly, that’s not an issue,” Schmid says. “… But the doctors wanted me to stay in this area for at least a week.” The Associated Press

Seattle Sounders coach Sigi Schmid was back presiding over the club’s training session Thursday after four days of hospitalization for an undisclosed health issue.

“On Saturday early morning I had a health issue that required me to go to the hospital,” Schmid said. “They kept me in the hospital until Tuesday, released me on Tuesday. The details of it (are) for me and my family. But I’ve gotten the OK to go from here.”

Schmid is expected back at the team’s training session Friday morning, but he will not join his team on its afternoon flight to San Jose, California, where the Sounders will meet the Earthquakes at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

“I could fly, that’s not an issue,” Schmid said. “… But the doctors wanted me to stay in this area for at least a week.”

Schmid said he expects to be back on the bench Sept. 19 for the Sounders’ home match against the Vancouver Whitecaps.

“It’s great to have him back with the boys,” captain Brad Evans said. “I know this is where he wants to be. And even if he’s not 1,000 percent, I know he’ll be here just like we are. We want to be out here no matter what: Through the good and through the bad, and sometimes when you’re injured or you have a little bit of a health issue, you come back and it can spur you on and help you get over that hump.”

First assistant Brian Schmetzer will fill in for Schmid at San Jose, as he did last weekend in Seattle’s 2-1 win over Toronto.

“Because Brian I know is going to be coaching the game on Saturday, I’m letting him take a little more of a lead on the practice field,” Schmid said. “I let him lead some things in the coaches meeting as well. That was the only difference. I told him I wasn’t going to try to step in and coach. I made one point to one player and (assistant coach Ante Razov) steps in and says, ‘We got it; we got it.’ ”

Schmid, 62, said his health issue isn’t something that should affect how long he continues as a head coach.

“This is what I love doing, and this is what I’m still capable of doing, so I was excited about (returning),” he said.

“… It shouldn’t affect anything from a longevity point of view. It’s something that they’re dealing with. It’s under control.”

Schmid was not the only new face back at training Thursday. Central defender Roman Torres returned from duty with the Panama national team, and midfielder Marco Pappa was back from duty with the Guatemala national team.

Meanwhile, midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz seems almost ready to make his club debut after a quadriceps injury. However, forward Clint Dempsey (hamstring) was held out of training and spent the time running on the sideline.

“Ivanschitz is doing well: fitness is there, health-wise is good,” Schmid said. “Torres and Pappa are tired. Torres got in at like midnight last night — basically flew for I think 12-13 hours of travel. So he needs to get a good night’s sleep, but he should be ready for Saturday. And Pappa, same thing. He played 90 minutes on Tuesday, so we just wanted him to (regenerate) today. Dempsey, you know, we’ll know more (Friday).”

Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808

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