Sounders forward Eddie Johnson didn’t train today, and he wasn’t made available to the media. However, coach Sigi Schmid said the hamstring injury wasn’t as bad as feared. He didn’t sound optimistic about Johnson playing Friday in the playoff opener against Real Salt Lake. However, he didn’t rule it out. And he said Johnson seems sure to be available for the second leg Nov. 8 at Salt Lake.
“It’s a slight tweak,” Schmid said. “It’s not as bad as we thought. We wanted to go easy with him today, and then we’ll see where he’s at tomorrow. But it’s slight. It’s not nearly as bad as we had feared that it might be. There’s an outside chance on Friday and for sure the second game shouldn’t be a problem.”
Other Sounders took the expected tone that if Johnson doesn’t play in the opener, other players will simply need to step up as they have all season.
“We’ll see what we think is best,” Schmid said regarding a possible replacement. “We’ll take a good look at our games in the past. Ochoa has played in the past. Estrada really hasn’t been available for them. Zakuani is somebody now back in the mix – he’s played up front before. I think we’ve got three options. Even Rosales could push up high if we needed to.”
Meanwhile, Schmid also was guardedly optimistic on defenders Patrick Ianni, Leo Gonzalez and Jeff Parke.
“Ianni and Leo seem to be getting better every day,” he said. “Parke was just a precaution. He’s fine.”
Parke confirmed he’s ready to go.