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Nelson Valdez could travel to Houston, unlikely to start

It's highly likely we'll see Jordan Morris start up top, but it's possible that Valdez could make the bench

Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday, head coach Sigi Schmid said that Seattle Sounders forward Nelson Haedo Valdez had a minor problem in training this week, but that it wasn't a long term concern. He implied that his status for the away match at Houston this weekend was doubtful, but Valdez was seen doing some light training on Friday. Schmid said that "he's coming along, we're debating whether we take him along, because there's another 48 hours before the game." It appears to be a game-time decision on whether or not Valdez will travel with the team, but it's almost certain that he won't start on Sunday.

The rest of the squad, aside from previous injuries to Friberg and Torres, is completely healthy, according to Schmid. He did, however, say that the Erik Friberg was coming along at they the club expects him to train with the first team as early as next week.

As has been noted quite a bit, the Sounders have yet to get their first win away at Houston since joining MLS. Earlier in the week, Schmid noted that the heat has been a problem for the Sounders, especially when coming from chillier Northwest climates. This week, however, has been rather sunny in the Seattle area, and Schmid sees that as at least a slight advantage. "The weatherman's helped us out here [in Seattle] with two days of nice sunshine, it's been a little warmer." Combine the Seattle weather this week with a day of training in Houston's potentially humid, 80-degree climate, and Schmid feels much more optimistic about the conditions than in the past.

Schmid also shed some light on a previous comment he made at the end of March, saying that he had attended a match on Seattle's bye week, but declined to say which match. Today, when commenting on Houston's loss to Vancouver on March 26, Schmid said that he was in attendance for that match. "I was actually up there and I saw the game. Houston was all over them, I think that 17 or 18 shots on goal." Schmid may have been in Vancouver to scout one of those two teams (or a specific player), though it's also possible that he raced up to Vancouver on the night 3/25 and saw the Canada-Mexico World Cup qualifier that was held in Vancouver.

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