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Sounders nearing full fitness, but Onyekachi Apam still has ways to go

Zach Scott, Gonzalo Pineda and Leo Gonzalez all trained in full on Tuesday.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Just as the season heads into the final weeks, the Seattle Sounders are getting as close to full fitness as they've been all year. Zach Scott, Leo Gonzalez and Gonzalo Pineda -- all of whom have missed the past two games -- were full participants in Tuesday's training session and could be ready to play at least some role as early as Friday's match against the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid was not so optimistic about the team's newest signing, Onyekachi Apam, who played 45 minutes in Monday's Reserve League game.

"Fitness is definitely an issue," Schmid told reporters. "Right now, he's not ready to come into a game. He's got to get fit. There were some good things, with experience, that were there as well. It's just a matter of us being patient. When your fitness goes, then you start making bad decisions. We have to build his fitness first."

Reading a bit between the lines, it's hard to imagine Schmid throwing Apam onto the field for significant minutes while there are still trophies on the line. It wouldn't be crazy to think that Apam could see some time, but the chances of him starting any match this year seem slim.

That might come as a disappointment, but it probably shouldn't come as a shock. Apam hasn't played in about 18 months and this was a signing that was always rooted in the hope that he could potentially return to his once impressive form in time for next season. This doesn't quite close the books on Apam's season, but it should probably dramatically limit our expectations.

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