TUKWILA, Wash. — The frantic start to 2018 has taken a toll on the Seattle Sounders. Injuries have excluded several high-profile Sounders from the lineup in the beginning of the season. With Clint Dempsey suspended Saturday, Brian Schmetzer caught up with the media Tuesday and offered a rundown of injury updates ahead of Seattle’s home match against Montreal.
First, the good news.
Will Bruin – After suffering being placed in the concussion protocol following an arm to the head in the second leg of the Champions League quarterfinal versus Chivas, Will Bruin appeared to be fully participating in team training. Schmetzer described Bruin as being “in the final stages of the concussion protocol.” Bruin’s inclusion Saturday would be a big boon to a team that is, save Lamar Neagle, out of options at striker.
Nicolas Lodeiro – Let’s face it, the club has not looked the same without it’s central attacking midfielder slinging passes all over the attacking third. While he missed the last two matches with a midfoot sprain, Lodeiro has been participating fully in team training and Schmetzer sounded hopeful that he would see the field Saturday.
The internationals – Seattle has four players away on international duty: Jordy Delem (Martinique), Gustav Svensson (Sweden), Roman Torres (Panama), and Cristian Roldan (USA). Torres played 90 minutes against Switzerland Tuesday, but should hopefully be over the jetlag by the time he returns home. Svensson started and played 90 minutes against Chile Saturday, but did not appear for Sweden against Romania Tuesday. Roldan did not start for the United States against Paraguay Tuesday, only playing one minute, and should therefore be physically prepared for Saturday. Delem started in Martinique’s nil-nil draw with Trinidad & Tobago (Joevin Jones also started) on March 25.
Overall, Schmetzer said that he at least expected all of his players who had served international duty to be available for selection against Montreal, pending their evaluation by Seattle’s staff.
Now the bad news:
Osvaldo Alonso – Languishing with a quad injury, Schmetzer said that Alonso was “getting closer” but was still unlikely to play this weekend. Alonso, 32, missed 13 matches (including playoffs) for Seattle in 2017. He is a regular participant in practice lately.
Victor Rodriguez – Recovering from a right knee sprain, Rodriguez has not appeared for Sounders in 2018. Schmetzer said Rodriguez was getting closer to being ready, but per his policy would not speculate on a return date. Rodriguez last appeared for Seattle in the MLS Cup in Toronto last year.
Clint Dempsey - Will be serving a suspension for his red card in his last match.
Schmetzer said the injury picture would be clearer later in the week, but if Bruin and Lodeiro can return, Seattle will fare much better against Montreal.
Of course, Schmetzer reserved the final word on his wounded players:
“The standard answer is: when they’re ready, they’ll play.”