TUKWILA, Wash. — On Wednesday, Seattle Sounders interim head coach Brian Schmetzer said it was “a possibility” that midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro is available for Wednesday Oct. 12’s home game against the Houston Dynamo (7:30 p.m. PT; JOEtv, KIRO Radio 97.3FM, El Rey 1360AM).
On Thursday, General Manager and President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey casted a little more doubt on that chance.
Lodeiro is competing with Uruguay in two CONMEBOL 2016 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches. The first is on Thursday in Uruguay against Venezuela. The second is on Tuesday Oct. 11 — the day before the Houston match — against Colombia in Barranquilla.
“[Lodeiro] has to physically get from Baranquilla, Colombia, to Seattle,” Lagerwey said. “You can go online and you can construct a flight itinerary that can accomplish that fact. That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea for Nico depending on how he plays or how he feels. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a good idea for our team.”
Lagerwey noted that Lodeiro is absolutely willing to do whatever it takes to get back and play on Wednesday, but it needs to be a practical decision.
“[Lodeiro is] willing to move Heaven and Earth to get here and be supportive of his teammates,” Lagerwey said. “We have to do this from a common sense approach and not put our players in danger and likewise give our group the best chance.”
The Designated Player has three goals and eight assists in 10 matches since arriving in late July and has been an integral part in the team’s dramatic rise from the Western Conference basement to a 97 percent chance at making the postseason. But Seattle still managed a come-from-behind road win against a Cascadia rival over the weekend without him, which is just as promising and may give the staff more reason to rest him.
“The result in Vancouver showed that we can win with any articulation of [this] group,” Lagerwey said.