This week is the first time that Seattle Sounders FC 2 will play a double-game week. It is also their first road trip. The tiny roster of 10 will be pushed to its limits. The handful of Academy players already on roster (Lim, French, Kerawala, Noll, Ramos) could have educational commitments. The first team is also on the road, and their captain is in San Antonio hanging out with Jurgen Klinsmann.
At Tuesday's practice Sigi Schmid indicated that one 1st team player that could see time with S2 is Aaron Kovar. The HGP has three appearances for 39 minutes in MLS play and one start with S2 playing 68 minutes in the win over Sacramento. Against Tijuana he assisted on both goals in the 2-2 draw while playing 90 minutes.
"He started preseason well, he played well when he got his opportunities. It's still a work in progress. I think he probably needs to get a game again so he might get a game with S2 this weekend because I think that's important for his development. With a young player," Sigi said after practice, "if he's only getting spot play here and there and you're only getting practice, it stalls it a little bit. His continued growth is dependent on some of those games as well. He's worked hard, he's done a good job, he's gotten into good positions and that's important."
S2 has a few players that are certain to be loaned down; Charlie Lyon, Darwin Jones and Damion Lowe have all at least been in the 18 for every USL match so far. Andres Correa and Jimmy Ockford have also logged two S2 starts, and are likely candidates to make the road trip as they've yet to make a gameday roster for the senior team.
Victor Mansaray may also find himself in a similar situation as Kovar, in need of playing time somewhere. All together, as many as seven players could be missing first-team training in order to fill out S2's numbers. That leaves S1 training with a still healing Dempsey and Leo Gonzalez. Meanwhile, Evans' availability will be based on how much he plays in San Antonio. In a worst-case scenario, there could be as few as 16 players fully fit for Friday's practice session prior to the Colorado Rapids match.
S2's roster is too shallow for weeks when it has multiple commitments and the 1st team can't help out. This problem will also come up when S2 starts Open Cup play. There will also be roster pressures through the organization during the Gold Cup when Dempsey and now maybe Evans will be gone too.
It's great that the backend of the 1st team roster has a route to more playing time, but getting playing time at the harm of the 1st team does not help the primary point of the organization (trophies now) and having a second team that can't field a full roster doesn't help the primary point of its existence (trophies later).