Although there was some mild concern that Uruguay could call him in early, it now appears as though Nicolas Lodeiro will remain with the Seattle Sounders through Sunday’s game against the Portland Timbers.
"As far as I know, he’s playing," Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer said on Friday. "Unless somebody can tell me any different. Unless you crack reporters know something I don’t."
Lodeiro, who played 90 minutes and scored the last-minute equalizer on Wednesday, was still in a bit of recovery mode, though, as he was training inside on Friday.
The international break doesn’t officially start until Aug. 29 and Uruguay doesn’t actually play until Sept. 1, but FIFA allows countries to call in players earlier if they are traveling between continents. Uruguay also plays on Sept. 6, which should give Lodeiro plenty of time to return to the Sounders ahead of their Sept. 10 match against the San Jose Earthquakes.
His presence will be even more important this week after it was announced Clint Dempsey would be out while tests were being done on his irregular heart beat. This may prompt the Sounders to move Lodeiro more centrally, a position he’s played extensively for club and country. With Dempsey on the field, the Sounders had deployed Lodeiro as a wide midfielder, although he often drifted inside.
The bigger question is who takes Lodeiro’s spot out wide. The two most obvious options would seem to be Alvaro Fernandez and Cristian Roldan. Playing Fernandez there would allow Roldan to remain alongside Osvaldo Alonso, a position he’s excelled at in recent weeks. Moving Roldan out wide would likely make room for Erik Friberg, who had been starting next to Alonso for much of the season when healthy.