The Seattle Sounders’ 2-1 loss to New York City FC in the Bronx last weekend was anything but a normal soccer match, considering the high volume of water that fell (and stayed) on the pitch for basically the entire match. But as the Sounders prepare to turn things around at home against Orlando City on Wednesday night, head coach Brian Schmetzer isn’t dwelling on a match in which neither team could really play their normal game.
“I think it was the same conditions for both teams,” said Schmetzer. “If I look at it from that perspective, yeah it wasn’t great to play but both teams had to deal with some adversity.” Schmetzer confirmed that the club hasn’t filed any complaints with the league about the conditions on the pitch, mainly because both teams had to deal with the same problems on the drenched Yankee Stadium grass. “Soccer players are used to it, I’m a big believer in controlling the controllables. Stuff happens, they play through it.”
Headed into the match with Orlando at mid-week, Schmetzer confirmed that the Sounders have basically everyone healthy and available for the first time in awhile. The only players missing are Oniel Fisher and Jordy Delem, who are with their national teams for the Caribbean Cup. Brad Evans and Tony Alfaro, who were listed as questionable last weekend and didn’t travel to NYC, practiced in full on Monday and should be available to play against Orlando. Chad Marshall and Roman Torres, who took a bit of a beating against NYCFC, are also good to play. Schmetzer said the tackle that looked to injure Marshall’s ankle on Saturday looked bad on the film, but wasn’t serious. “He’s a tough kid, he made it through the game and he’s fine.”
Not playing during the recent international break means that the Sounders are about to face a bit of fixture congestion with three matches in eight days, though luckily the third is in Portland, keeping travel to a minimum. But despite this intense stretch of matches, Schmetzer has no intention of taking matches lightly at this point in the season. He did admit that a couple of changes might be in order, and that any rotations might happen on Sunday rather than Wednesday. “There will be a couple subtle changes for the two matches, but this home match is vitally important for us, we’ve got to get a result,” Schmetzer said. “We’re going to put our strongest team out there, and we’ll see what happens in Portland.”