After a day off Thursday, the Seattle Sounders returned to Starfire to begin preparations for Los Angeles FC’s visit to Century Link Field on Sunday. As is customary, the starters from the game versus the San Jose Earthquakes remained inside during training, meaning todays’s practice was mostly reserves and Academy players.
Coach Brian Schmetzer did provide an update on the injured Sounders, and the news was mixed at best.
“I can rule Gustav [Svensson] out, so he won’t be involved in the weekend,” Schmetzer said. “Will’s [Bruin] out here looking pretty good. Raul still in the boot, but he’s still day-to-day; as soon as the pain goes away, he’ll play.”
Schmetzer also confirmed that midfield Victor Rodriguez is in fact in concussion protocol. After the game Wednesday, Schmetzer indicated there was a chance Rodriguez might avoid going thought the protocol, but his condition was such that it was apparently necessary. Nouhou was out at practice doing work on the side, so it appears his injury isn’t serious.
While the injuries piling up, it will provide more opportunities for the depth players to grab minutes. In the last two games, it has been the players off the bench who have help provide a spark, including Harry Shipp who has a goal in each game.
“You’re trying to make a difference and show well,” Shipp said. “For me, it’s doing the right things consistently over and over and then if you’re in the right spaces, you’re eventually going to get rewarded for it.”
Schmetzer was also pleased with the performance of Handwalla Bwana, who got his first start against San Jose, though he wasn’t surprised he was so effective. “I think that game was perfect for him,” Schmetzer said. “Man-for-man simplifies his thing; ‘Can I beat you off the dribble’ and he did that on many occasions.”