While all five of the Seattle Sounders’ remaining regular season matches seem highly winnable on paper, there will likely be added complications to at least one and maybe two. Both the home match against the Houston Dynamo on Oct. 8 and the away match against Orlando City on Oct. 17 could potentially be impacted by international dates.
Even though the Orlando match falls outside the international window, many national teams are playing games the day before. Included in that group of teams are several for which Sounders play, including a match between Peru and the United States in Hartford, Conn.
On Friday, it was announced that Raúl Ruidíaz would be called into the Peru national team for their two upcoming games. The first of those is on Oct. 12 against Chile.
Convocados para los amistosos con @LaRoja y @ussoccer_mnt en octubre.#ArribaPeru ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/1VuIFwka7R— Selección Peruana (@SeleccionPeru) September 28, 2018
The United States has not yet announced their roster for that game, but it seems reasonably likely that Cristian Roldan will be called in for their upcoming pair of games, which will also include a match against Colombia on Oct. 11.
Also playing on Oct. 16 are Sweden (a home friendly against Slovakia) and Uruguay (a friendly in Japan). Panama is also scheduled to play in South Korea, but Román Torres has previously said he won’t be playing.
Nicolas Lodeiro was among the 25 players listed on the preliminary roster for Uruguay. There doesn’t appear to have been a formal announcement about Sweden’s roster, but Gustav Svensson seems like a safe bet to be included.
Further complicating the situation is that the Sounders will be hosting the Dynamo on Oct. 8, which is technically the first day of the FIFA window. The game is being played on a Monday, presumably to avoid having to play on football lines (the Seahawks have a home game on Oct. 7 and there’s a Jay-Z/Beyoncé concert on Thursday).
This puts the Sounders in the unenviable position of likely needing to ask for their players to be held a day longer and/or released early.
“We are having conversations,” Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer said about the international situation on Friday. “Chris Henderson is doing a great job with all the national team organizations and those conversations are ongoing.
“We’re prepared for those conversations, we’re having them now. We’ll see if they bear any fruit.”