UPDATE: The Sounders listed Lodeiro as “questionable” with a left quad strain. He’s not in Friday’s lineup.
Already planning to play the entire season without Jordan Morris, it now looks like the Seattle Sounders could also be without Nicolás Lodeiro for the first few weeks of the season.
Sounder at Heart has independently confirmed a report by Niko Moreno that Lodeiro suffered an injury sometime between last week’s intrasquad scrimmage and the previous preseason match against the Portland Timbers, and could miss as much as the first 3-4 weeks of the MLS season.
Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer struck a more optimistic tone when talking to the media a couple hours after this report first surfaced, calling the injury “niggling” and suggesting there was even a chance that Lodeiro could play in Saturday’s preseason match against San Diego Loyal.
“I want to keep things a little closer to our chest,” Schmetzer said when asked if he could elaborate on the nature of the injury. “The extent is on the minor scale. If it were something serious, I’d probably get out in front of it and let you guys know. We’re working through it.”
The Sounders open the regular season on April 16 at home against Minnesota United. They play at LAFC on April 24, host the LA Galaxy on May 2 and visit the Portland Timbers on May 9.
Assuming it’s not a lengthy absence, the Sounders seem reasonably well equipped to manage the situation. In last week’s intrasquad scrimmage, João Paulo moved into Lodeiro’s No. 10 role with Josh Atencio sliding into the defensive midfield alongside Cristian Roldan. Lodeiro also missed the first few weeks of the 2020 season, with the Sounders going 1-0-3 in those matches.