On Monday of this week, Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid had reached his breaking point with the club’s injury woes.
“In five years here in Seattle, it’s probably the worst injury run we’ve had,” he said. “Cumulatively, it seems to all have hit at the same time.”
After training on Tuesday and with an off-day from training on Wednesday, Schmid was in a much more comfortable position than he was just 24 hours earlier.
Noting the progress of Obafemi Martins, Brad Evans and Djimi Traore, Schmid was much more optimistic on Tuesday. Maybe not optimistic that players would miraculously recover as much as optimistic that his team would put in the work and be ready to face the Colorado Rapids on Saturday with a hungry lineup ready to pounce on the opportunities to play.
That competitive nature was reflective in training where Seattle changed the weekly routine and stepped up the intensity over the last two days.
“If anything, we’ve tried to step it up the last two days of training. We want the guys to compete a little bit more in training,” Schmid said. “We’re not abandoning what we’re doing. We feel like we’re a fit team and that the recovery and the regeneration is an important part of our training rhythm. But we’re asking in the short bouts that we work, that we’re working.”
With 12 players out injured in recent days, opportunities would seemingly arise all over the field. However, most of the injuries have been isolated to specific positions, causing the club to go further and further down the depth chart to fill in for multiple absences.oweverHo
At the wide midfield spots, injuries to Steve Zakuani, Alex Caskey, Evans and Philip Lund placed left back Marc Burch to the left side of the midfield on Saturday. Time will tell just how much healthier or creative they will get at that position this week against Colorado.
At goalkeeper, Michael Gspurning, Marcus Hahnemann and Josh Ford are all out with injuries and the club looked to Phonix FC, where they nabbed Andrew Weber on loan until players return to health.
All they can do now is soldier on and wait for players to get healthy.
“You’ve got to feel about it the way it is. It’s not something you can avoid right now,” Schmid said. “We’ve got to wait for Gspurning and Marcus to get healthy. We’ve got Weber and we’ve got (pool goalkeeper Doug) Herrick as the backup, probably, for this weekend. It will work.”