João Paulo, Raúl Ruidíaz and Jimmy Medranda resume full training

TUKWILA, Wash .– Last week Seattle Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer targeted Friday’s practice as the date he hoped to have a healthy squad – Nico Lodeiro and Will Bruin aside – to training. He didn’t quite hit that target, but he was pretty close.

“It’s not raining, the sun was shining, everything was competitive on the first day so it was good,” Schmetzer said immediately after.

Considering the state of affairs a few days earlier, the Sounders were reasonably close to full capacity with most of the internationals returning from World Cup qualifying and the many injured players also returning. The Sounders who went abroad had mixed results when it came to playing time, with Alex Roldan and Nouhou playing both games, but Xavier Arreaga and Cristian Roldan not seeing the time. Schmetzer said it remains to be seen which of these players is better off.

“If they go somewhere and they practice and train and train and sometimes don’t play, that can be a downside,” Schmetzer said. “If they’re not playing, would it have been better to be here with the band so we could work on some things?” Sure. When they come back after not having played, they are chomping at the bit to get back onto the pitch.

Only Nouhou was completely absent from Friday’s session, but this was more due to the anger of the travel gods than to the injury he suffered in Cameroon’s last game, a 1-0 victory over Côte d’Ivoire. Ivory. Nouhou started in the win, but had to be substituted after less than five minutes with an apparent shoulder injury.

Still, the news could have been much worse, and Schmetzer seemed relatively indifferent to the availability of his star defender for Tuesday’s game against Real salt lake through a WhatsApp conversation.

“Air travel these days isn’t good, so the only reason he’s not here in the field doing the warm-ups is because his flight has been delayed,” Schmetzer said. . “He will be on the ground [Saturday] … but he told me via WhatsApp that he was fine, 100% ready to play.

Xavier Arreaga, the other Sounders injured in international service, was in training, but only participated in the warm-ups. Schmetzer said the team will evaluate him over the weekend, as they try to get him ready for Tuesday’s game.

“We’re going to increase it further tomorrow and try to get it ready for Tuesday,” Schmetzer said.

Nicolás Lodeiro, whose status for the RSL game is also uncertain, joined Arreaga on the side.

The Sounders got better news from a line of other injured players. Raúl Ruidíaz, João Paulo and Jimmy Medranda have all been fully involved in training, a good sign given that neither of them have played a game for nearly three weeks. As Jordan Morris continues to improve his fitness and sharpness, the problem will now attempt to fit all the pieces back with just three days of practice before the first round playoff game.

“The last six days of training, when some of the main parts were gone, was more about individual development and a lot of recalls,” said Schmetzer. “Today’s pre-match training will be more about the squad and how we apply tactics. We will assess how they managed to train, and we will have to choose a formation and review the tactics. So there are still steps to be taken.


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Richard V. Johnson