The Sounders are off the training pitch again. Afterward, we got some updates from coach Sigi Schmid, as well as our first word from Brad Evans since his calf injury and also from Leo Gonzalez for the first time since his red card at Columbus.
First things first. Here’s Schmid’s update on the status of forward Obafemi Martins’ ankle sprain:
“He did a little more today,” Schmid said. “We didn’t want him to do too much today, so we pulled him out at a point, and now we’ll see how he feels tomorrow. They’re giving him some medications that should help as well. So we’ll see is there’s an improvement tomorrow, and then we’ll see how it is on Saturday. It’s going to be a game-time decision.”
Schmid was asked how much of the decision is a matter of testing, and how much on simply how the player says he feels.
“The short answer is you still have to rely on what the player feels,” he said. “And technology helps you identify it, but it’s not absolute. … I think a player has enough pride, they want to get on the field, he wants to get on the field, he wants to play. If I felt he didn’t want to play, then I’d be frustrated. But he wants to play, he’s frustrated because he’s hurt and he can’t get on the field; so I’m OK with that. We’ve just got to when he’s healthy and he’s able to go get him on the field, and if he can’t then somebody else has to go out there and step up.”
If Martins can’t go Saturday, Schmid indicated the forward spot next to Lamar Neagle could be filled by either David Estrada — who started last night vs. Chivas — or 2013 top draft pick Eriq Zavaleta.
Schmid also clarified that reserve goalkeeper Andrew Weber’s loan from Phoenix FC has ended.
Evans was asked how he’s dealing with the frustration of the injury that kept him from joining the U.S. national team for its qualifying match at Costa Rica tomorrow and against Mexico next week … and if the rain delay in Columbus last week might have contributed to the problem.
“Trying to stay positive: just a little speed bump in the bigger picture, that’s how I have to look at it,” he said. “The weather delay was difficult, but we also had 17 other guys who made it through just fine. So maybe it was something prior to that that put me in that condition. I’m not really sure. It’s something that I have to take care of and maybe be more conscious. My last couple of injuries have been with my calves, so I have to find out kind of what’s going on there and what I can do better to take care of myself. In the past I’ve been good about nutrition, hydration, all these things, but maybe I’m missing out on sometime. Maybe it’s the travel. It could be so many different things, so I try not to get my head wrapped around it too much and haping that it’s just another one-off thing. … When I usually have these calf injuries I miss one game, you know. Now we have the two games this week, which makes it a little bit different, but I’m hoping to be ready by next Friday. But the bigger picture is the MLS season and where we’re standing, and all I can do is do my best to rehab, get healthy and do my best to be better than I was before.”
Here’s what defender Leo Gonzalez had to say about the red card in Columbus that kept him out of the Sounders game last night:
“For me, it is about experience. To take the red card so quickly for the team is no good. In the soccer, many things do in a game. I just say thank you for my teammates’ good effort in the game – a good win – and say sorry for that play.”
Back soon with more.