It will be at least a few more weeks before the Seattle Sounders are at anything close to full health after head coach Brian Schmetzer revealed that both Harry Shipp and Brad Smith are expected to miss at least 2-3 more weeks with hamstring injuries.
Shipp was injured last week during training, while Smith suffered his injury in Sunday’s 3-0 loss to the LA Galaxy.
Schmetzer seemed particularly upset about Shipp’s injury when talking about it at Wednesday’s training session. The Sounders had gone 11-2-2 in Shipp’s starts this year — and were unbeaten in his past 13 starts — while going 2-9-3 in their other matches.
“It sucks,” Schmetzer said. “It sucks for Harry, it sucks for the team. Harry’s been a big part of our success.”
Schmetzer listed off several names who could potentially replace Shipp, including Handwalla Bwana, who is now back to full training. Victor Rodriguez is almost certainly at the top of that list, but he’s had his own battles with injury.
Smith’s absence could be just as significant. Although he has just one assist in his six starts, he’s generally appeared to be far more polished and effective than the other players who have played left back this year. The most likely scenario will be that Nouhou will return to the starting lineup for the first time since the Sounders’ 5-0 win over the Galaxy on Aug. 18. The other option would be bringing back Waylon Francis, but he’s struggled to even make the 18 in recent weeks and hasn’t started since Seattle’s 2-1 win over the Colorado Rapids on July 4.
If there was a modicum of good news it was that all the other Sounders — aside from Jordan Morris and Felix Chenkham — were training in full.