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Alex Roldán says MRI revealed ‘very minimal’ damage

Defender seems to think he’ll be fit for Saturday’s game against LA Galaxy.

Syndication: The Enquirer Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

TUKWILA — A day after Alex Roldán and Reed Baker-Whiting rejoined training, fellow internationals Xavier Arreaga, Raúl Ruidíaz and Obed Vargas were also back. Nouhou, the final Sounder away on international duty last weekend, was expected to be back in Seattle later on Thursday.

The Sounders got a bit of added good news from Roldán’s MRI, which he said showed only “very minimal” damage. He had been pulled out at halftime of El Salvador’s match with the United States on Monday with what was deemed tightness in his calf muscle.

“It had been a long year in the area I was feeling it and I didn’t want to risk something super long-term,” Roldán said following Thursday’s training session, in which he was a full participant. “In my mind — we’ll see how it goes out here — but I’m comfortable.”

In case Roldán needed any added motivation to get back onto the field, Saturday’s fixture is one he looks forward to every year. He and his brother Cristian grew up in Pico Rivera, just about 20 minutes away from Dignity Health Sports Park, and attended Galaxy games as youths. Their older brother, Cesar, is also a trainer with the Galaxy.

“Playing in front of family is special,” Alex Roldán said. “I’m very excited.”

Positive outlook with El Salvador

Although El Salvador failed to advance out of the Nations League group stage — a tall order after being drawn into the same group as the United States — they did at least earn the right to remain in Concacaf’s top level. In the previous Nations League campaign, El Salvador had earned promotion after winning their Division B group.

“We’re in a transitional period after World Cup qualifying where some players are coming out and others are coming in,” Roldan said. “We showed some good things, a lot of things we need to work on, but most of it is easily correctable. Happy and excited for what’s the come.”

Since the end of qualifying, Hugo Perez has taken over as head coach in an attempt to rebuild the program. Recruiting dual-nationals like Roldan has been a big part of that.

“He’s a good motivator,” Roldán said about Perez, who is also a dual national of El Salvador and the United States. “We’ve all seen what he’s done as a player. He’s selected some good players, it’s just about molding them. A lot of Salvadoran players come from a league that’s more sporadic and getting them ready for the international game which is more systemic. He’s doing a good job so far.”

Training observations

  • The Sounders did some limited training in 11-v-11 situations, but most of the action was short-sided. Raúl Ruidíaz provided some of the more impressive moments, scoring off a couple of long-range shots that served as a reminder that he’s capable of scoring from almost anywhere.
  • From the look of things, the Sounders may try to run back as much of the lineup from the Sporting KC win as possible. With so many players joining training relatively late in the week, there’s simply no reason to rush them back into action.

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