The Seattle Sounders have been gone for about two weeks now, and the updates have been relatively hard to come by. Coach Brian Schmetzer remedied that ahead of Thursday’s Concacaf Champions’ League match against CD Olimpia, holding a conference call to update reporters on the status of the team.
The Sounders arrived in San Pedro Sula this afternoon under oppressive weather conditions — the temperature hit 95 today. However, Schmetzer said he doesn’t expect the weather to be much of a problem at the start of the game given the 9 p.m. local kickoff time.
As to the state of the team, Schmetzer provided several updates clearing up a few outstanding issues, though one of them is certainly a cause for concern.
Nicolas Lodeiro is likely questionable for the away leg against Olimpia
Schmetzer provided an update on the the Sounders talisman, who left for Uruguay last month and rejoined the team as they arrived in Mexico. According to Schmetzer, Lodeiro underwent a “procedure” in Uruguay to hopefully repair a tendonitis issue. While Lodeiro has been training, it’s unclear if he’ll feature in the game against Olimpia.
“He’s been getting better every day,” Schmetzer said. “It’s been getting close. He’s been training very well and the minute he is ready to step in, we’ll get him in the game.”
Yeimar Gómez Andrade is ready to play
In more promising news, the Sounders newest signing, Yeimar Gómez Andrade, has received his visa paperwork and is eligible to play, according to Schmetzer. Andrade was signed from Santa Fe earlier this month and has been with the team training in Mexico.
“He’s done a little bit better than I thought,” Schmetzer said. “Having him there for the entire 12 days in Mexico was critical for him to assimilate into the team.” Schmetzer said he enjoys what Andrade brings to the team, though there are still some rough edges to smooth out. “I love watching him play [though] there’s a couple times when he comes into challenges when I think somebody is going to get hurt, and it’s not going to be Yeimar,” Schmetzer said with a laugh.
Miguel Ibarra signing seems imminent
A report surfaced today that Miguel Ibarra, who is on trial with the team, has signed with the team. Schmetzer declined to confirm that report, though reading between the lines it sounds like the signing is very close. “Miguel has fit into the group very well,” Schmetzer said. “Experienced MLS player, and if the deal happens, I would be very happy.” Given the number of competitions the Sounders will be competing in, Schmetzer said there will be plenty of minutes for the MLS veterans. “When we play those three-game weeks and we take a couple of injuries or you’re in Open Cup or Champions League, he’s going to be a guy who fits very nicely in any formation that we play.”
The Sounders have identified several Tacoma Defiance players to sign to the first team
Speaking of depth, the Sounders brought a handful of Tacoma Defiance and academy players to the various phases of preseason, and after a month of training and game, it appears as if the team has identified a small group to potentially sign to the first team. “I can’t divulge any names, but the coaching staff has identified three possible signings from Defiance, although we aren’t in any sort rush to sign them,” Schmetzer said. None of the prospective signings were listed on the Concacaf Champions league roster, which lines up with Schmetzer’s comments that they’ll wait at least a little bit before signing them. “There have been three that stand out,” Schmetzer said. “When we get back from Honduras, we’ll dive into that a little bit deeper. I know there are some spots available and if we make the decision to sign one or two or three, we’ll alert you to that fact.”
Schmetzer is satisfied with right back...for now.
Sounders right back Kelvin Leerdam is of course the incumbent, but when the Sounders let Saad Abdul Salaam go, there was a gaping hole behind him. With the signing of Alex Roldan, Schmetzer said he hopes Roldan will be able to provide some stability at the position.
“Alex has done well, he’s earned that chance of being the back up right back.” Schmetzer said. “It’s been a bit of a revolving door with [Jordan] McCray and Saad Abdul Salaam and now Alex. He didn’t quite break through at the position that he was playing up a line. He did a lot of work with Djimi Traore about learning the nuances of the positions. I don’t have any fear about playing him in games.”