TUKWILA, Wash. – Seattle Sounders center backs Chad Marshall and Zach Scott are back in full training after suffering injuries before the MLS international break, giving the club a full defensive arsenal as U.S. Open Cup play begins next week.
Marshall missed the team’s last three games with an undisclosed injury, while Scott suffered a hamstring injury midway through the team’s 2-0 win over D.C. United on June 1 and had to be taken out of the game.
“Marshall’s fully back,” head coach Sigi Schmid said Friday, “and Zach Scott’s fully back.”
The Sounders will host the Kitsap Pumas of the fourth division Premier Development League on Tuesday at Starfire Sports in Tukwila, the first matchup between the teams since they met in the third round of the 2011 edition of the tournament. The Sounders won that game 2-0 en route to winning the tournament, the third of their four USOC titles in franchise history.
Schmid said he intends to field a competitive lineup in line with previous matches in the early rounds of the USOC, meaning it will likely be a mix of regulars and peripheral players rather than a first-choice starting lineup.
Schmid is suspended for the match after receiving a red card in the team’s loss to the Portland Timbers in the USOC last year, and will relinquish the coaching duties to assistant Brian Schmetzer.
Schmid’s Muhammad Ali Memory
Although he never met Muhammad Ali, Schmid recounted a story about the late boxing icon on Friday about watching the Thrilla in Manila, Ali’s legendary 1975 heavyweight title fight against Joe Frazer in the Philippines.
Schmid was attending UCLA in 1975, and Pauley Pavilion was one of the sites where boxing fans in Southern California could pay and watch the match via closed-circuit television.
But Schmid, who was a huge fan of Ali and couldn’t afford the price of admission, snuck his way into the event with a teammate by waiting in the arena’s locker room following the Bruins’ soccer practice.
“We got changed and then we basically stood on the toilet for like, an hour, until they cleared out Pauley,” Schmid said. “Once it was all clear, we got down and we were in the event. We saw the Thrilla in Manila, without paying a dime.
“Don’t tell the school.”