Nouhou won’t be playing in the Seattle Sounders’ playoff opener, after all. Despite telling head coach Brian Schmetzer that he was fit after suffering a shoulder injury in Cameroon’s World Cup qualifier, Nouhou is now out with an unrelated issue.
T-minus one training day for Sounders #MLSCupPlayoffs run. But defender Nouhou out due to “health & safety protocol.” Nico Lodeiro (knee) expected to be on the bench...— Jayda Evans (she/her) (@JaydaEvans) November 21, 2021
The “health and safety protocol” usually indicates something Covid-19 related, but is a catch-all term that can be related to other things.
There was some good news from training, however, with Xavier Arreaga able to fully participate. Arreaga left Ecuador’s training camp early with a muscle injury, but has apparently suitably recovered. That would likely mean that the Sounders’ will start Arreaga along with Yeimar Gomez Andrade and Shane O’Neill. The Sounders went 3-2-1 with those three centerbacks playing together. Abdoulaye Cissoko has also spelled Nouhou regularly, making 12 starts in which the Sounders went 6-4-2. The Sounders went 8-2-6 in Nouhou’s starts.
Also expected to available on Tuesday are Raúl Ruidíaz and João Paulo, who have been full training participants since Friday.