TUKWILA, Wash. — The group that returned for the first day of training following the Tucson portion of preseason was decidedly smaller than the one that was here two weeks ago, featuring just 25 players (only two of whom are unsigned).
There was at least one particularly notable face, though: Román Torres.
The Seattle Sounders center back had been sent home for unspecified reasons a few days after the team arrived in Arizona and had been training in the Seattle area. But the Panamanian’s familiar smiling face was back in full force on Tuesday for the team’s final session before Wednesday’s preseason friendly against Uruguay’s Nacional. Torres has not played in any of the Sounders’ past three preseason games after logging 45 minutes in a closed-door scrimmage against Atlanta United on Feb. 2.
“Guys come and go; it’s all part of the normal preseason,” said Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer, echoing comments he had made in Arizona. “He’s here, you guys watched him train. He’s in good spirits, a good mood, we’re happy to have Román.”
When asked if he could shed any more light on the situation, Schmetzer seemed to suggest no move was imminent despite rumors to the contrary.
“Look, anything that Roman and I discuss, we’ll keep inside,” he said. “I just think it’s normal because coaches sometimes have to have conversations with players — star players — and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. He’s here, he’s fully committed to the team and I’m happy he’s here.”