One day after injuries forced the Seattle Sounder to remove two of their presumed starters from their final preseason game, it looks like the team's depth will be tested early. On the positive side, coach Sigi Schmid said Brad Evans was feeling much better and might even be able to play on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Galaxy.
The prognosis does not seem as positive for Steve Zakuani, who went out with what was at the time described as a "right hip injury." Zakuani underwent an MRI on Thursday, but no results have yet to be released. With First Kick now just five days away, it seems to be a decent possibility that he'll miss at least one match.
None of the starters were practicing on Thursday and the team has Friday off. That would leave just three days for Zakuani's possible replacement to get any time with the first team. When asked who would start in Zakuani's place, Schmid said "There’s different options. (Pat) Noonan is an option. (Miguel) Montano is an option. (Michael) Tetteh could be an option, (David) Estrada, (Lamar) Neagle. Those are all options. ... It’s too early to tell."
Schmid also mentioned the possibility of playing Evans at LM and starting Erik Friberg in the center. Friberg played 38 minutes in Wednesday's Community Shield match, and was on the pitch for all three of the Sounders' goals. He even registered an assist on the second goal, taking a ball off his chest and volleying it ahead to Fredy Montero.
That scenario, of course, assumes Evans is fit enough to play. Of the other players Schmid mentioned, none of them have seen extensive MLS minutes with the Sounders at LM. On paper, it would seem that Tetteh is second on the depth chart. But Schmid also seems to be at least a little worried about trusting the youngster so early in the season.
One player who won't be considered is Mike Fucito, who suffered an injury of his own on Sunday. Schmid said Fucito will likely be out at least 2-3 weeks.