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Eid Mubarak, Nouhou’s alright

Nouhou is back in training, but that’s not a guarantee that he’ll be back in the starting lineup.

Last Updated
2 min read
Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

RENTON – After the Seattle Sounders steamrolled CF Montreal there was a lot to be excited about, but one concern lingered. Nouhou exited with a thigh injury within the first 10 minutes of the match, and although Cody Baker performed well in his place it’s always concerning to add another name to a finally shrinking injury list.

Brian Schmetzer soothed some of those concerns after training on Thursday.

"Our plan is to try to have everybody back and available for the Dallas match, and we’re working on that," he told reporters. "Nouhou partook in some of training, JP was most training. There were some other guys that we held out just because they had high numbers – high outputs, tightness, soreness – so the fitness guys are doing a good job of making sure that they’re available."

Schmetzer expanded on Nouhou’s status, and the nature of what forced him out of the game on Saturday, saying, “it’s not horrible, it’s not a pulled muscle or anything. We think it’s kind of cramping – he was fasting, he had those monster runs and it was just one of those moments. I think he’s gonna be okay.”

Schmetzer indicated that with the end of Ramadan, they’ll continue to monitor Nouhou in training for the rest of this week ahead of the game against Dallas.

That’s not necessarily a guarantee that Nouhou will go straight back into the starting lineup, though. The coach had plenty of praise for Cody Baker and his performance at left back, and indicated he has a chance to hold onto that spot at least for this week.

“[Cody Baker] trained very well today, and let’s see how Nouhou comes out. There is gonna be talk about whether we keep the same starting lineup that won 5-0. I think all the players played well. There will be that conversation, versus whether Nouhou’s a penciled in starter. So he’s in that conversation.”

Schmetzer didn’t stop there, either, as he pointed to the possibility of a genuine contest for the starting left back spot, as he continued, “How that conversation proceeds throughout the course of a full year? I would tell you this: that [Baker's] done a lot to improve his standing, let’s put it that way."

For now the highlight is that Nouhou’s injury shouldn't keep him away from the field.

Other injury updates

  • João Paulo was able to make his first appearance of the season in a late cameo against Montreal, and seems to have come through it well. "The bigger test will be going through a full week of absolute, hard training, some minutes against Dallas, and then we’ll see what it is, but he’s fine,” Schmetzer said.
  • Léo Chú continues to work towards a return ahead of the original timeline expected with his injury. Chú was a partial participant on Tuesday, and "he’s gearing up towards full training this week."
  • Reed Baker-Whiting appeared to be involved in a number of small-sided games and drills at training, while Pedro de la Vega continued to work off to the side, but was running and working with the ball – even doing passing drills with João Paulo at one point. Neither player has a clear timeline for return at this point, though.