Sounders Insider

Sounders respect Yedlin's call-in; defensive options could increase (but not Apam)

Here's what Sounders coach Sigi Schmid had to say today about DeAndre Yedlin's call in to the national team, which will keep him out of the Sounders home match Friday against Vancouver.

"He’s an important member of our team for sure," Schmid said. "Obviously it’s great that Clint’s going to be able to be here, so we’re happy about that. DeAndre missing means another person needs to step up and play. But certainly we have to respect the decisions that are made by the national team coach, and we’ll move on."

It is possible Zach Scott and Leo Gonzalez could figure into Schmid's options along the back line.

"Zach and Leo and Gonzo -- all three of them -- were all in in training today," he said. "And now we'll see how they feel in training tomorrow."

However, newly acquired defender Onyekachi Apam doesn't seem to figure into the options anytime soon.

"Obviously some good, and some things that we still need to work on," Schmid said of Apam's 45 minutes with the reserve team yesterday. "Fitness is definitely an issue still, so right now he’s not ready to come into a game because he needs to get fit. But there were some good things – you could see some experience – things that were there as well. So it’s just a matter of us being patient, and we’ll see once his fitness gets there. Because when your fitness goes, then you start making bad decisions. So that’s something that we’ve got to build his fitness first."

On others from the reserve game:

Damion Lowe: Lowe was all right. He got through 90 minutes. That was important. Obviously it’s rusty when you haven’t played a game in – I think the last time he played in a game was in March, probably – that’s a long time and you need some game time to get honed in on those decisions and so forth. But we were pleased that he was able to get through the 90 minutes and did some good things in the 90.

Aaron Kovar: It was difficult because we pushed him all over the place. We started him in midfield, and then he played a little bit of left back, and then he played wide left at midfield. Wide left midfield is his best passion, and that’s when he had the most impact in the game.

Aaron Long: I think Aaron’s done well. Again, we’ve asked him to play different positions. Yesterday he played a little bit of right back, then he played center back in the second half. When we signed him, he started off playing really, really well. Then there comes that little bit of lull when you maybe don’t see first-team action; it’s tough coming in at midseason as he’s done. But I’ve been really pleased with him and I think he’s a guy down the line who can help the club.