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International duty will make summer a slog

Sounders could lose as many as four players for much of June and July.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Enjoy the currently full-strength Seattle Sounders while you can because come summer, they could look quite different. With Monday's announcement that the United States would be playing a friendly against Guatemala on July 3, we now have a clearer picture of how international duty could affect the Sounders. It's not pretty.

Under a "worst-case" scenario, the Sounders could be missing as many as four players just for international duty on two league match dates (June 6 and June 13).

If, as expected, U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann calls in a first-team squad for the entirety of the Gold Cup (July 7-26) that could have a cascading effect that leads to players like Clint Dempsey being called in for not just the Guatemala match, but also for European matches against Netherlands (June 5) and Germany (June 10). That would leave the Sounders without Dempsey for a match at Sporting Kansas City (June 6) and likely at home against FC Dallas (June 13). They'd also lose him for the July 3 match against D.C. United and potentially for matches at the Chicago Fire (July 11), against the Colorado Rapids (July 18) and at the Montreal Impact (July 25).

To make matters worse for the Sounders, Brad Evans also appears to be working his way into the center back rotation.

Marco Pappa stands to miss significant time this summer, too, as Guatemala not only has the Gold Cup, but also 2018 World Cup qualifying to worry about (yes, you read that right). Guatemala's busy summer starts with a friendly in Uruguay on June 6 and is followed by home-and-home World Cup qualifiers against Bermuda (June 12 and 15). The next round wouldn't be until the end of August at the earliest. But even if they fail to get out of the group stage of the Gold Cup, Pappa will likely be with his national team until after the July 15 match against Cuba meaning he'll likely miss at least four Sounders league matches and as many as six.

Just to test the Sounders' depth a bit more, it's now looking increasingly likely that Cristian Roldan will make the United States U20 World Cup team, which will head to New Zealand at the end of May.

The tournament runs from May 30-June 20 and would likely force Roldan to miss at least four matches and as many as six (the Sounders play at the Philadelphia Union on June 24).

Meanwhile, the Sounders organization will also have U.S. Open Cup to deal with. S2, which probably won't have a full complement of on-loan players, enters the tournament on May 20 and could end up playing four matches between then and May 30. The Sounders are scheduled to enter the Open Cup on June 16-17 and would play at least one more match on June 30-July 1.

The good news is that other MLS teams will likely be dealing with their own absences, but experiences like Sunday's dismantling of New York City FC will likely be harder to come by.

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