Jhon Kennedy Hurtado has been a story of consistency since he joined the Sounders FC prior to last season.
However, the Sounders FC will have to do without the 2009 MLS All-Star and MLS Defender of the Year finalist, as Hurtado suffered a torn left ACL that will require surgery and put him on injured reserve for what is expected to be the better part of the final 20 matches of the season.
“It’s a big loss. Jhon Kennedy has been a solid defender for us for a year and a half now and a great individual on the team,” owner/GM Adrian Hanauer said. “We’re definitely shattered to lose Jhon and his presence on the team.”
Hurtado suffered the injury on a late-game effort to thwart Chris Wondolowski from shooting on an open net. Kasey Keller had evacuated the goal on a stoppage-time corner kick to provide an extra man in the box, but San Jose defended the ball away and Wondolowski sent a long ball toward the open net from midfield. Hurtado chased him down and attempted to block his attempt, but was injured in the process.
“It’s unfortunate. Kennedy has been a great defender,” Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said. One-v-one he is one of the top couple of defenders in this league. We are certainly going to miss him, but luckily ACL’s are things that people fix nowadays and people come back and play full out on them again. So he will be back with us before we know it.”
The former star at Deportivo Cali in his native Colombia and one-time trialist for Italian giants AC Milan came to the Sounders FC on loan before the 2009 season and was transferred to Seattle this past off-season. In 36 regular season games, he had amassed 3,144 minutes, tallying one goal and one assist in the process.
The move to the IR will create an open roster spot for Seattle, but will not provide any salary cap relief, so replacing Hurtado on the roster won’t likely be an easy fix from outside the organization. The club has Patrick Ianni, Taylor Graham and the recently signed Jeff Parke to work alongside stalwart starter Tyrone Marshall.
“We’ll move on,” Hanauer said. “There are injuries in soccer. We can’t hang our heads and worry about it now. We have to go forward and make the best of a bad situation.”
The Sounders will host Argentine Club Boca Juniors on Wednesday at 7:30 at Qwest Field before resuming their Major League Soccer schedule Saturday with a road match against the Colorado Rapids.