It was back to the practice field, as the Sounders have a short turnaround in this three-game week. Today was mostly a regeneration session, as the starters from Wednesdays’ 1-0 victory over San Jose weren’t involved in full training.
One bit of good news: Chad Marshall, who was unavailable for selection for the game on Wednesday, was back out practicing in full, and none the worse for wear it looked like. The benefit of having three high-quality center backs (and three others who can play there if needed), is that it’s not absolutely imperative to push one of the starters if they have an injury that could impact their play, if only slightly.
The prospect of a nine-point week wasn’t lost on Coach Schmetzer, who noted that the game against NYCFC presents a great opportunity, given that they played last night in Orlando, and suffered some injuries and one suspension. However, he noted that NYCFC is an excellent team, and no matter the circumstance, it will be a very difficult game.
One interesting note: As Jordan Morris continues to work his way back from his long-term injury, Coach Schmetzer pointedly did not rule out the possibility that the young forward could return this year. Now, before people start trying out 4-3-3 formations for MLS Cup this year, there is NO specific indication that Morris will be back this year. His surgery was in March, and the typical recovery time for non-Zlatan players is 8-12+ months. However, it was notable that the team has left open the possibility for Morris to return this year, however unlikely it may be.
Lastly, Victor Rodriguez continues to work his way back (on the side) from a hamstring strain. We got a “tough kid” from Schmetzer, as well as “when he’s ready, he’ll play.” But again, a good sign he is out there getting some work in.