The Seattle Sounders have caught a bit of a break when it comes to slowing down Atlanta United’s vaunted attack, as the timetable for Josef Martinez’s return is weeks not days. The Venezuelan striker’s left quad injury will hold him out four to six weeks, which of course rules him out for this weekend’s match against Seattle.
With questions of health at right back and about fitness and form for Roman Torres (he’ll play Tuesday night when Panama host the United States), any relief on the Rave Green back line will be welcome. Chad Marshall is the only healthy defensive player to have not played in the bye week, with Gustav Svensson playing in Seattle’s friendly, Roman Torres playing for Panama and Joevin Jones playing for Trinidad & Tobago.
In Atlanta’s three games, Martinez has five goals (he only failed to score against the Red Bulls) and has played all but eight minutes over the three matches. While his goals have come against the 10-man Chicago Fire, and actual tire fire Minnesota United, Martinez is still a dangerous, in-form striker.
Unfortunately for the Sounders, Atlanta United has plenty of options as outlined by our friends at Dirty South Soccer, including Trinidad & Tobago national team captain Kenwyne Jones (though he’ll likely play a full 90 for his country on Tuesday as well).
You never want a player to be hurt, but Seattle will count themselves fortunate to have one fewer dangerous piece to worry about in Atlanta’s strong lineup. In other World Cup qualifying injuries, Sebastian Lletget will be out four to six months, meaning the Sounders likely won’t see him unless they meet LA Galaxy in the playoffs.