“We’re getting healthier,” Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid proclaimed on Tuesday as Sounders FC returned to training at Starfire Sports after a 1-1 draw with the Colorado Rapids on Saturday.
Under normal circumstances, a statement like that might not mean much, but when a team goes through the injury woes that Seattle has been through in recent weeks, those are the best three words he could utter.
After posting a list of injuries that was nine players deep on Saturday when they faced the Rapids, Seattle hopes to have many of those players available for their next match on Sunday at CenturyLink Field against Chivas USA.
Djimi Traore and Andy Rose both returned to training on Tuesday while Brad Evans went through his first full training session since he suffered a rib injury against the San Jose Earthquakes on July 13. Evans came off the bench against Colorado, registering one shot in his 19 minutes of action. Traore was listed as questionable with a hamstring strain also suffered against San Jose, while Rose was out with a hamstring strain picked up in a reserve match against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC on July 8.
That leaves a much leaner list of injured players for Seattle, though they are still awaiting the returns of goalkeepers Michael Gspurning and Marcus Hahnemann.
Slated to spell Gspurning when injuries arose, Hahnemann suffered a hamstring strain of his own in the July 8 reserve match. Adding to his frustration about his own injury was the injury to Gspurning just six days later, which would have opened the door for the 41-year-old goalkeeper.
“It’s a difficult situation for Marcus. From that standpoint, I understand Marcus’ frustration,” Schmid said. “For us as a club, it’s the reason that we brought Marcus here – if something happened to Michael, we’d have a quality reserve goalkeeper that could go into the game. For them both to be injured at the same time has made it difficult.”
Hahnemann said on Tuesday that he is making strides toward his recovery, running faster and for longer periods than he was a week ago, but is not yet ready to return to regular goalkeeper training. That leaves Seattle with the combination of on-loan veteran Andrew Weber and MLS pool goalkeeper Doug Herrick for Saturday’s match against Chivas USA.
The remaining injuries include midfielders Steve Zakuani, Shalrie Joseph, Alex Caskey and Philip Lund, along with goalkeeper Josh Ford. Meanwhile, Eddie Johnson will remain unavailable while with the U.S. National Team at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, where they will meet Honduras in the semifinals on Wednesday.