With about 10 days before the Sounders next match — June 16 at Montreal — coach Sigi Schmid said several injured players might be ready to return for the Impact.
Here’s his overview:
“Patrick Ianni’s been doing more and more. So he’ll continue to do some things over these four days, but he’ll also get a couple of days off in there. We really pushed Mauro (Rosales) hard, fitness-wise. And he feels pretty good, so it’s good for him to back off now and come into Monday’s training really fresh. (Adam) Johansson gets another four days with his hamstring, and he says it’s coming along much faster than the last one. Michael Gspurning gets another four days. What ended up with him was that he pushed too hard the one day and suffered a little bit of a setback, but there’s nothing serious in there – there’s no surgery or anything like that that’s needed, so it gives him four more days to build it up and help that process. So it will go a long way. Leo Gonzalez, same thing. Hopefully by the time we leave for Montreal, we’re added at least two or three guys into the mix. That would be good.”
Naturally, we asked which players…
“We think maybe Ianni could be back,” he said. “With him it’s more a question of fitness, because he loses fitness quickly and takes a long time to gain it. So we’ve got to work with him. Leo is somebody who could be back in the mix as well. Certainly Rosales is somebody who will be back in the mix, because we held him out of the two Open Cup games. Those are three examples. … Eddie Johnson should be back in the mix as well. … I don’t know (about Gspurning). It’s really day by day. The doctor, the specialist that he went to see – said you’ve really got to listen to your body and go day by day and not push to quickly. It still might take a little bit of time, but we know if we can be patient, then the long-term benefit is it should be behind him and we could move forward.”
Schmid also was asked if Steve Zakuani might build on his MLS Reserve League debut by playing in U.S. Open Cup.
“Don’t know. Don’t know,” Schmid said. “Me and Steve talked about it just briefly here. But that’s a conversation that will stay between us. We talked about what we’re shooting for, but he’s made good progress. Playing that game really helped his confidence and also really maybe re-motivated him as well. Not that he wasn’t motivated, but it’s like all of a sudden you know how it is when you’re doing something and you do something good and it feels good, it’s like ‘Hey, I want to do that again.’ And all of a sudden, your confidence comes, your energy comes with that. And he’s sort of at that stage right now. So we’ll push and we’ll see, and we’ll continue to do what we’re doing: take it week by week.”