While still short-handed due to injury and international call-ups, the Seattle Sounders should get at least a little bit of relief when they travel to Minnesota United on Sunday as Nouhou is set to travel. The news was not quite as good for Shane O’Neill, however.
“Nouhou is the closest, he’ll join us in Minnesota,” Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer told KJR. “[O’Neill] is doing better, he’s a tough kid. But it’s a long season. We’ll be a bit more careful with him.”
Nouhou has missed the previous five games since suffering a strained adductor shortly after returning from international duty with Cameroon. Although the Sounders have gone 3-0-2 in those games, their defensive performance has slipped a bit. After allowing just three goals in their first eight games — none of them from open play — the Sounders have allowed five goals in their past five, including three from open play.
In Nouhou’s absence, AB Cissoko has been playing as the left-sided centerback with Xavier Arreaga filling the central role in place of O’Neill. Cissoko will most likely move to the bench if Nouhou is able to start.
Even with Nouhou’s return, the Sounders will still likely have no more than the 18 players they dressed for their last game against the Houston Dynamo, as they’ll also be without Alex Roldan. Notably, to even get to that number the Sounders had to sign Juan Alvarez to a four-day contract and give Alfonso Ocampo Chavez his first first-team roster assignment of the season.