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Pedro de la Vega could feature as soon as this week

Sounders midfielder is apparently on track to return within the 6-8-week window that was originally set.

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2 min read

RENTON — One of the obvious bright spots in Tuesday’s training session was the involvement of Pedro de la Vega. Not only was the midfielder close to a full participant — he mostly played as a neutral — but he also looked as sharp as ever, banging in several goals and generally playing with the kind of dynamism the Seattle Sounders have been missing through most of their first seven games.

It has now been exactly six weeks since the Sounders first announced that de la Vega’s injury timeline was about 6-8 weeks, and he has at least an outside chance of seeing some minutes against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday.

“We’re going to be cautious with him,” Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer said. “We have his training data they collect everyday. We’ll try not to overcook him in training, we’ll get him ready for games. It will be a slow ramp because we can’t afford to have another injury.”

Reading between the lines, de la Vega will probably make at least two appearances off the bench before returning to the starting lineup. That would potentially put him in line to start against the LA Galaxy on May 5.

De la Vega’s return to training comes at an interesting time. After making two appearances off the bench João Paulo now appears to be fully back, while Léo Chú is also training without restrictions. Reed Baker-Whiting is also expected to resume full training this week, after a setback last week in which he caught pneumonia. How de la Vega fits into that group will be an one of the bigger questions that needs answering.

“Is this the last game for this group?” Schmetzer asked rhetorically. “Seven games into the season, what are we doing? I don’t think the narrative for this team is written until we get De la Vega back, get JP and Reed and give them a chance for 4-5 games. When those guys come back, there’s no more hiding behind anything.”

Assessing Dallas

Given a chance to go through film, little changed in Schmetzer’s assessment of how the match went. He felt the Sounders created enough chances to at least get one goal, but still felt like there was a lack of aggressive play.

“I went through the chances we did create and there were a couple that we should have scored,” he said. “I asked them what was missing from the other clips? We just weren’t as dynamic as we were against Montreal. Running behind a backline of five, what were the differences? There were some good things and some incomplete things.

“We weren’t sprinting behind when the ball went wide, running in those half-spaces. Not even to get the ball, just to create space. There was not enough movement in front of the ball.”

Schmetzer was also asked about his relatively conservative approach to using subs, specifically waiting until the 86th minute to replace Raúl Ruidíaz with Danny Musovski.

“It was hard for me to take Raúl out because he was working hard,” he said. “Was he effective? No maybe not.

“We talk about subs, we talk things through. Would I have done things differently? Maybe. Managing the players is difficult at times. I just felt adding Musovski on left and butchering the lineup in an effort to win wasn’t worth the risk.”

Jordan Morris enjoying fatherhood

Jordan Morris became a father about seven months ago when his son Theo was born. When asked how parenthood has been treating him, Morris beamed.

“Good, really good,” he said. “He’s finally sleeping so life is good. He’s the best. It’s been a huge blessing and puts a lot of stuff in perspective.”