Injuries, international call-ups could slow Sounders' momentum

USA TODAY Sports

Osvaldo Alonso will miss at least one game while recovering, but the Sounders will definitely be somewhat short-handed for the next couple months one way or another.

The Seattle Sounders will be at least a little short-handed when they face another big test on Sunday against the LA Galaxy. Osvaldo Alonso has essentially been ruled out and Steve Zakuani does not appear to be ready to return this week, either. On a more positive note, Leo Gonzalez seems to have recovered and Mauro Rosales was able to participate as a neutral in Tuesday's practice.

The most glaring concern is obviously Alonso, who suffered what the team is calling an adductor strain and came out of the match around the 30th minute.

"It's something that we don't know exactly how long it will take," Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid told reporters following Tuesday's training session. "It's an injury that he's had before. He feels it isn't as bad as when he had it once before, so he was able to work out inside. He was already on the bike today, so we'll see.

"This weekend, probably not very likely (that he's available). There's a chance against Chivas, and then we have to go day by day as we get through and move forward this week. The MRI showed there's no extreme pull or strain, but it is what we thought it was."

Missing Alonso for one game is obviously bad enough, but the situation could get much dicier if he's out much longer than that. After the Galaxy match, the Sounders will lose Eddie Johnson and Brad Evans to national team duty. They could also lose Mario Martinez, although it might not be until after the Chivas USA match on June 1. The latest indications are that Obafemi Martins will not be called up for Nigeria's upcoming qualifiers.

The Sounders then have one more league match on June 8 before taking a break until June 22.

At that point, they could feasibly lose DeAndre Yedlin who is still expected to get called up for the U-20 World Cup that starts on June 21. If he's called up, Yedlin could miss as many as four Sounders matches.

"Right after Toulon, they go into their camp in Portugal, and then they go straight to the youth world championships," Schmid said about the U20 team. "I think DeAndre's chances -- I don't know if he's on the final team or not -- are certainly there to be selected for the final team."

The final complicating factor is the CONCACAF Gold Cup. That tournament runs from July 7-28. It's still unclear whether or not Honduras will call in their "A" team, but Martinez is definitely a possibility there. US head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has said he won't call in players to both the qualifiers and the Gold Cup, which seems to suggest Evans and Johnson are in the clear. The Sounders play four matches between July 6-28.

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