TUKWILA, Wash. — With a full week between matches, the Seattle Sounders are taking advantage of the time to heal up ahead of a decisive Concacaf Champions League match against Chivas on Wednesday.
On Saturday, the Sounders had their first full day of practice since Wednesday’s game, most of the squad was a part of drills and scrimmage with the few exceptions. Most notably, Victor Rodriguez was absent from training. On the other hand, seeing Kelvin Leerdam as a full participant in training was a pleasant surprise after he had been on an individual rehab program for the last month. Even Osvaldo Alonso was out as a neutral during most drills.
“It’s his [Leerdam’s] first day back in full training so happy to have him back,” said Brian Schmetzer. He noted that while he was happy to see the Suriname native recovering, he has been pleased with Jordan McCray’s prefomance during Leerdam’s absence.
“He’s done really well. I think Kelvin might have had a speedier recovery because of Jordan’s play,” said Shemetzer praising McCrary. “He’s started to catch fire a little bit. You can see his confidence grow. His attacking movements are pretty good, his timings getting forwards are pretty good and he’s starting to impress us with some of his soccer.”
However, not everything was good news from Starfire. Rodriguez has hit a significant setback as he has been transferred to a separate program. Whether he aggravated his quad injury or has picked up another is unclear at this time, but we do know that last week the Spaniard was picking up the pace and intensity of his training regimen including scrimmaging with the team.
It’s disappointing news for a player that was not only outstanding last year but looked to have not lost a step during the preseason. At this time there is no timeline on when the former Barcelona product would be back, considering he has missed several days of training and reading in between the lines, I do not expect him back in Sounders’ 18 until the first week of April. The job Harry Shipp, Handwalla Bwana and Magnus Wolff Eikrem have done should allow the coaching staff the ease of mind while allowing Rodriguez to fully recover and not be rushed back.
In addition, Alonso is beginning to also ramp up his individual training program, and sounds positive about his recovery after talking to him briefly. But he should not be expected any sooner than late March.
Magnus Wolff Eikrem missed the last match with a contusion. He was also a full participant in drills.