While the Seattle Sounders haven’t been hit with the injury bug as badly as a few other teams in MLS so far this season, they haven’t gotten this far into the season completely unscathed. While nagging injuries to guys like Jordan Morris and Brad Evans seem to be nearly or completely gone, the team will likely be without a couple key players for their home match against Portland this weekend. Head coach Brian Schmetzer said that “the overall health is getting better... still not there yet.”
Defender Roman Torres, who has been dealing with a hamstring injury at various times this season, is officially listed as questionable for this weekend’s match. Schmetzer said that “when he’s ready to go, he will play. Might be this weekend.”
Forward Will Bruin dislocated his elbow near the end of last weekend’s 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake, and hasn’t been able to train with the team all week. Schmetzer said that Bruin went through various tests and medical stuff earlier this week, but the team is still waiting on a report before giving a timetable. As is Schmetzer’s style, he noted that Bruin “is a tough kid, as soon as he’s ready to play, he will play.”
Aaron Kovar, who has been training with the team for a few weeks now after needing groin surgery earlier this season, has been “taking reps” with the team according to Schmetzer. His status may hinge on fitness, so he’s probably more of a day to day case at this point.
Schmetzer noted that the training this week leading up to Portland has been good, and that the inclusion of former defender DeAndre Yedlin has been a huge boost to the team’s training level. It doesn’t hurt, Schmetzer said, that the players all like and respect Yedlin as well. “DeAndre’s obviously a quality player, so that brings the level of training up. So it’s been good on many different levels.”
It’s also worth noting that, when asked, Schmetzer said that he believes the current team has the leadership and experience to make up for losing Zach Scott after his retirement last season. It’s the first time the team will face Portland without Scott in the fold, and even though that’s a big loss, Schmetzer isn’t worried. “ I think the group that we have going out there on Saturday, they don’t need Zach. We’d like to have him, but they don’t need him. They’re a good team in their own right.”