Jordan Morris

Nicolas Lodeiro, Jordan Morris back with Seattle Sounders ahead of midweek clash with Houston Dynamo

TUKWILA, Wash. — Seattle Sounders interim head coach Brian Schmetzer received two big gifts over the past few days.

The first came on Friday when Designated Player Nicolas Lodeiro received a yellow card in Uruguay’s CONMEBOL 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Venezuela. The booking suspends Lodeiro - who scored a gorgeous diving header in the 29th minute before he picked up the yellow early in the second half - for La Celeste’s next match against Colombia on Tuesday Oct. 11. He was released early and returned to Seattle on Sunday.

The Sounders play the Houston Dynamo at home on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. PT; JOEtv/KIRO Radio 97.3FM/El Rey 1360AM) with a chance to clinch a postseason berth, a match in which Lodeiro's presence would have been very much in question had he still been with Uruguay until Tuesday.

While upset he will miss Uruguay’s massive fixture against Colombia, Lodeiro is happy he now gets a chance to contribute for his club.

“It’s easier to get a suspension [in CONMEBOL qualifying],” Lodeiro said Monday. “It’s not something I wanted to do, but something that just happens in the game.”

Schmetzer said that despite the long travel day on Sunday, Lodeiro is in tremendous physical condition and once he shakes the effects of the flight, he will be ready to play on Wednesday.

Schmetzer also had a little fun at Lodeiro’s expense, saying that while he celebrated Lodeiro’s booking, “we’re just hoping it’s not a continued trend.”

Lodeiro was suspended for the Sounders’ last match, a 2-1 road win over the Vancouver Whitecaps, because of a yellow-card suspension in MLS play.

Schmetzer’s fortune doubled when the United States national team released forward Jordan Morris early after the U.S.’ 2-0 friendly win over Cuba in Havana on Saturday. Morris logged 30 minutes as a substitute and returned to Seattle early, while the USMNT prepares for a friendly against New Zealand Tuesday at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.

“The Sounders came to me and wanted to make sure I was OK with coming back early,” Morris said. “I’ve never really had to do that before with the national team. I wanted to come back and help the Sounders.”

Even with two of the team’s best players back at training and available for Wednesday, the mood surrounding the team hasn’t changed much. There’s still a sense of urgency and the Sounders aren’t taking the Dynamo lightly, despite Houston having just been eliminated from playoff contention over the weekend.

“They’re playing for jobs, they’re playing for spots next year,” Morris said. “We know we haven’t made the playoffs yet. If things don’t go our way in the last three games, we could drop out and all the hard work would be for nothing. We know we still have a job to do.”



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