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Sounders working to reintegrate returning internationals

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Raul Ruidiaz, Nico Lodeiro and Cristian Roldan fully in training; Gustav Svensson limited; Jordy Delem and Roman Torres not yet back.

MLS: Los Angeles Galaxy at Seattle Sounders FC Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

TUKWILA, Wash. – As players return from the FIFA international break, the Seattle Sounders have been attempting to work them back into the rotation ahead of a road match against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday.

Brian Schmetzer admitted that returning to normal after the call-ups pulled away six Sounders to their respective national teams would not be easy.

“It’s challenging,” Schmetzer said on Tuesday. “We’ll have some challenges there getting the group together in the sense that everybody is here, but the tactics, the message, the coaching has been consistent all year. They get what we’re trying to accomplish. We’ve played Vancouver this year so they know the opponent. Just minor logistical challenges.”

At training Thursday, Roldan and Raul Ruidiaz both trained in full, while Lodeiro has been a full participant all week. Ruidiaz, who played 85 minutes against Germany, showed no obvious adverse effects of the hard tackle he suffered early in Peru’s camp. Torres did not train outdoors and may have been recovering from his travel back. Jordy Delem also seemed to be absent from training after receiving a call-up from Martinique. Gustav Svensson participated on a limited basis while he adjusts to the time change.

“I’m used to it now,” Svensson said, smiling. “It’s not easy, but you deal with it. I came back (Wednesday) morning and took yesterday off to try to get some sleep. Now I’m back, I’m happy to be back. I’m glad to be back here and participating in training even though I didn’t do a full training today. It’s always nice to be back.”

The 31-year-old, who started in a friendly against Austria Sep. 6, says he’s happy to deal with the jetlag if it means representing his country.

“It’s hard to complain,” Svensson said. “It’s an honor. It’s what you want to do, to play for your national team. At the same time it’s hard. It’s a lot of long flights and time adjustments, but like I said I love it. I enjoy the moment, so you just have to try not to think about it too much.”

Despite his limited availability in training, Svensson said he felt good enough to play 90 minutes if the club needed it from him against Vancouver.

Although a number of players have had long flights and time changes, it appears Brian Schmetzer will have a full roster available to him when he takes on Vancouver this Saturday.