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Sounders training notebook: Off to Mexico

Sounders get in one final training session before heading to Mexico with a 3-0 lead in their CCL quarterfinal.

MLS: Concacaf Champions League Quarterfinal-Club Leon at Seattle Sounders FC Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

TUKWILA, Wash. — The Seattle Sounders were able to get in one final training session before heading out for a rare two-city road-trip on Tuesday. The weather mostly cooperated, too, as the Sounders were able to wait out a brief deluge of rain and then run full 11-v-11 drills before boarding their flight for Mexico, where they’ll get another day of training on Wednesday, play on Thursday, likely train again on Friday, and then head to Austin that afternoon ahead of Sunday’s game.

Cornered lion

It’s been a tumultuous week for León. After losing to the Sounders 3-0 on Tuesday, León returned home for Liga MX play, where they suffered a 3-0 loss to Tigres UANL. Before last week, the last time León lost any match by at least three goals was way back on July 24, 2021, and they hadn’t ever lost consecutive matches by at least three goals under head coach Ariel Holan, who took over in May 2021.

The loss to Tigres had fans at Estadío León chanting “fuera Holan.” That prompted Holan to submit his resignation, only to have the board reject it. He’s expected to be on the sidelines for Thursday’s match.

“I enjoyed scouting his team, so I wish him nothing but the best,” Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer said when asked about Holan’s situation. “Whatever decision they make is out of my control. I think he’s an exceptional coach.”

Fredy’s feeling good

No player has been more productive during this two-game winning streak than Fredy Montero, who has added three goals to his franchise-leading total. Montero was especially useful in the first leg against León, not just because of his two goals but due to all the extracurricular stuff that he did that seemed to get in the León players’ heads.

“It’s experience — he’s played at a high level,” Schmetzer said. “He’s using all those tricks, all that experience he’s acquired over the years to help his former/new team do really well.”

Injury updates

Nicolás Lodeiro and Josh Atencio were both full participants in Tuesday’s training session and traveled with the team to Mexico. Lodeiro has missed the Sounders’ last three games with a strained adductor, while Atencio has yet to make his 2022 debut while battling a couple of different injuries since the start of preseason.

While it appears unlikely that either would start against León, both could be available off the bench and could potentially play even bigger roles on Sunday against Austin FC.

Although he didn’t participate in Tuesday’s training session, Raúl Ruidíaz also traveled with the team, according to his Instagram. Ruidíaz has not played since coming out of the second Motagua match at halftime.

The other notable injury update is not as positive. After sounding reasonably optimistic about his centerback’s prognosis immediately following Saturday’s match, Schmetzer said Yeimar would not make this trip with what was now deemed a “high-ankle sprain.”