Going into Sunday’s conference semifinal match against FC Dallas, the Seattle Sounders are starting to look a bit bruised up thanks to recent fixture congestion. Saturday’s training session was the only full session the team could have before the match, and center back Román Torres did not participate. Torres didn’t seem to have any issues in Thursday’s match, in which he played the full 90 minutes.
Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer said Torres is a “day of game decision” due to a tight hamstring that also kept him out of Saturday’s session. It sounded like Torres could have trained, but Schmetzer said there was “no reason to risk it on a cold day like this.”
The extent of Brad Evans’ availability is also somewhat in question, as he’s been suffering from multiple nagging injuries over the last couple months that have limited him to just three reserve appearances over the last nine matches. Schmetzer said his usual captain was “getting better.” Evans featured as a substitute in the last two matches, but he’s yet to establish himself since the return of Torres and his various injuries.
Schmetzer has stressed a “next man up” mentality in the past few weeks, saying “we’re going to get every healthy body on the field.” Despite his team having less rest than their opponents, Schmetzer wrote it off as just another part of soccer in MLS. “If we can play smart and work through some of our soreness in the first 10 minutes of the game, good for us.” He also wouldn’t give any hints about his starting XI for Sunday’s match, because “I know Oscar [Pareja] watches this.”