Michael Gspurning likely out as Sounders face serious injury concerns


No fewer than 11 Sounders were at least limited during Monday's training session.

Just in case you were hoping for some good news on Monday, Sigi Schmid went ahead and ruined any chance of that when he revealed that Michael Gspurning would almost certainly miss the Seattle Sounders' next match. Although Gspurning's left arm was not broken, he was forced to wear a rather elaborate looking brace and the full extent of the injury will not be known until he sees a specialist on Tuesday.

As if that wasn't bad enough, Gspurning was just one of at least 11 Sounders were at least limited in training. Shalrie Joseph's calf injury doesn't seem to be much better, Djimi Traore's hamstring was being treated, Brad Evans' rib is still giving him trouble and Schmid seemed to think Andy Rose is likely to miss another match.

"In five years here in Seattle, it's probably the worst injury run we've had," Schmid said. "Cumulatively, it seems to all have hit at the same time."

Gspurning's injury, paired with Marcus Hahnemann's knock that he picked up just last week, means that Andrew Weber is almost guaranteed to get the start against the Colorado Rapids.

At least that's relatively straightforward, though. The midfield is much more of a mystery. Assuming Joseph, Evans and Andy Rose are unfit and Osvaldo Alonso's red card doesn't get overturned, the Sounders would be down to just two real midfielders. It would also leave Servando Carrasco as the only natural center mid.

That could set up what can only charitably be called a patchwork midfield. I suppose one possible set up would be to go to a diamond with Mauro Rosales at the point and Carrasco playing deep. Figuring out the wings would be a bit of a challenge, though. Marc Burch could possibly play on the left and Lamar Neagle on the right, but neither seem particularly well suited to play as what amounts to box-to-box midfielders.

A more intriguing set up could see more of a 4-3-3 setup with Neagle joining Eddie Johnson and Obafemi Martins at forward. Rosales could be an intriguing option in more of a CAM role, and maybe Burch could join Carrasco as the two more defensive-minded center mids.

The Sounders could, of course, stick with the more traditional 4-4-2 as well with Rosales on the right, Neagle on the left and Burch alongside Carrasco.

All of these formations have one thing in common, as you may have noticed: at least one player in a relatively unfamiliar role.

The Sounders' best hope to avoid any of these would probably be Evans making a speedy recovering. Godspeed.

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