SEATTLE – Seattle Sounders playmaker Nicolas Lodeiro picked up his fifth yellow card of the season in a 1-0 win win over the Chicago Fire on Wednesday night, meaning he’ll be forced to miss the team’s upcoming match in Vancouver on Sunday due to yellow card accumulation.
Lodeiro picked up the yellow card from head referee Hilario Grajeda in the 58th minute of the match for interfering with a Chicago free kick.
Lodeiro has not missed a game since he signed with the Sounders in late July, scoring three goals and adding eight assists in 10 games as well as being named the MLS Player of the Month for August.
“The foul happened right in front of me,” Sounders interim head coach Brian Schmetzer. “It’s a technicality. It could have gone either way. Those things are unfortunate. We’ll certainly address that with Nico because we don’t want him to get a yellow card for something like that.”
Lodeiro acknowledged his mistake and expressed his frustration with the outcome of the play.
“It was naïve of me,” Lodeiro said through a translator. “I didn’t want the other player to play the ball fast so I placed myself in the middle. He was smart. I was annoyed with myself but sometimes it happens. I was worried because I knew that the fifth yellow would keep me away from the next game, but I need to learn from these mistakes.”
Replacing Lodeiro will not be an easy task, but not much has come easy for the Sounders over the last 10 matches — the biggest being the loss of forward Clint Dempsey for the remainder of the season — yet they’ve been playing their best soccer of the year. The team is 6-1-3 since Schmetzer took over and Lodeiro arrived from Boca Juniors.
The Sounders will face the Whitecaps at BC Place in the final match of the regular season between the Cascadia rivals, with the teams splitting the first two games this season at CenturyLink Field. But even without Lodeiro, the focus for the team remains the same.
“We lost Dempsey and what has this team done? They’ve just continued,” Schmetzer said. “We’ll definitely make preparations, it’s a big loss, but we’re going to go up to Vancouver trying to win.”