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Raúl Ruidíaz returns to full training, will be available

Sounders will still be missing at least four presumed starters.

Last Updated
2 min read

SEATTLE – Raúl Ruidíaz was among the group of players fully participating on Friday in the second of two training sessions at Lumen Field this week. Seattle Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer confirmed that Ruidíaz is "ready to go" for Saturday's match against Austin FC.

That will likely be a role off the bench, though. Ruidíaz participated with a heavily wrapped mid-section and missed the first couple days of training this week after suffering a rib injury in the season opener against LAFC.

Schmetzer also seems to want to give Pedro de la Vega an extended look at the No. 10 spot.

"Goals, defense, goals," Schmetzer said what he's hoping to see from de la Vega. "The kid's exciting to watch. He gets his teammates in better positions."

Other injury updates

In addition to the four starters who missed the first game – Stefan Frei, João Paulo, Albert Rusnák and Yeimar – the Sounders will also be without centerback Nathan, who is currently in Brazil as he finalizes his green-card paperwork. The upshot is that the Sounders should have an additional international roster spot available once that process is completed.

Return to the Open Cup

The Sounders will be among the eight MLS teams to compete in the 2024 edition of the U.S. Open Cup, meaning they'll have now participated in every year the tournament was held since 2004.

"I love it," Schmetzer said. "This club has a lot of history, the Open Cup has a lot of history. Whatever difficulty happened between the league, that’s above my paygrade and I don’t have all the details. I’m just thankful we’re in it and hopefully we can progress through it."

More changes to Lumen Field

In addition to brand-new FieldTurf – which is why the Sounders elected to train on it twice this week – there will several other changes at Lumen Field. The most notable is the addition of some LED lighting that will used primarily during pre-match and will be synchronized with pyrotechnics.

There are also new tarps on the upper deck that now include the Seattle Reign FC logo, as well as some renovations to the lounge area in the south end. The T-Mobile Endzone will replace the Ring of Honor Lounge, and will likely re-open this summer.