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Sounders international roundup: Jordan Morris, Cristian Roldan feature for USMNT

Nouhou turns in a strong performance for Cameroon.

Grenada v United States - CONCACAF Nations League Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images

We are finally getting to the tail end of this rather long international break, with the Seattle Sounders returning to action on Tuesday against the Vancouver Whitecaps. But several Sounders have been pretty busy in the meantime. Here’s the latest update on how they’ve been doing:

Xavier Arreaga (Ecuador)

Ecuador’s final game of the international window is today against Cape Verde. Arreaga should be back in Seattle by Monday, which might be a cutting it a little close for him to start against the Whitecaps. That said, he’s been playing, so he should be reasonably sharp.

Reed Baker-Whiting (USA U19s)

After delivering the game-winning assist in the USA’s earlier win over England, Baker-Whiting got the start in a 3-0 win over Norway. I don’t have much hard data on that game, but Baker-Whiting apparently played well.

Jordan Morris (USA)

Morris started and played 61 minutes in a 5-0 win over Grenada in Nations League play. Most pundits came away pretty unimpressed with Morris’ play, but he did well enough to generate the third-most xG+xA (1.11) on the team. Unfortunately, he didn’t generate any actual goals or assists. Morris had three decent chances and didn’t come particularly close to scoring on any. He mistimed his jump on a close-range header, didn’t get enough on a back-heeled attempt at a mostly open goal and then was a little slow to shoot on a breakaway, allowing the defender to close down the chance to make a tackle (although it probably could have been a penalty). Similar to his play with the Sounders, it looks like Morris is still working through some rust. The USMNT has another game on Tuesday in El Salvador and Brian Schmetzer has said Morris won’t be released before then.

Cristian Roldan (USA)

Roldan replaced Morris around the 60th minute and put in an energetic if unproductive 30 minutes. The USA did outscore Grenada 2-0 while he was on the pitch and Roldan was putting himself in dangerous positions, just not necessarily with the ball. I don’t know that a reasonable person can really take much from this performance. As with Morris, Brian Schmetzer has said Roldan won’t be released before the final game of the window on Tuesday.

Albert Rusnák (Slovakia)

Slovakia played their third game of the window with Rusnák starting for the second time and seemingly in yet another position. This time he was apparently deployed as a second forward in Slovakia’s 1-0 win over Azerbaijan, playing 89 minutes and getting credit for four chances created, as well as going 21-for-25 passing. Slovakia next plays on Monday at Kazakhstan, meaning Rusnák will surely miss the Whitecaps match.

Nouhou (Cameroon)

Cameroon finally got to play a match during the window, winning at Burundi 1-0 in Africa Cup of Nations qualifying on Friday. Nouhou played 90 minutes at left back and filled up the stat sheet. He led all players with four tackles, won 10 of 15 duels, was credited with 16 recoveries, had four interceptions, was 3-for-3 on dribbles and completed 52 of 57 passes. He should be back in Seattle by the end of the weekend.

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