Cursed? Seattle Sounders set to deal with yet another slew of key absences vs. Sporting KC
Osvaldo Alonso and Marc Burch will join the Seattle Sounders ahead of their match against Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday (8:30 pm ET, watch on MLS Live), but the team will still be considerably short-handed.
In addition to being without Lamar Neagle and DeAndre Yedlin, who both received red cards in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Philadelphia, the Sounders will also have to make do without Obafemi Martins, Shalrie Joseph and Steve Zakuani. The trio remains back in Seattle while recovering from injuries.
Martins has played in just two matches since injuring his knee while he was with the Nigerian national team in late March. He started against Real Salt Lake on March 30 but his knee injury forced him out after 61 minutes. He also played an hour against Colorado on April 20, but he was clearly less than 100 percent despite scoring the game-winning goal.
“We want to get Martins to a stage that when he returns, he’s able to return and stay,” Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid told reporters during a Monday teleconference. “We don’t want to push him out there for a game and then lose him again for two or three and then push him out there for a game and lose him for two or three. I want to get him out there and keep him out there.”
The Sounders will be forced to use their eighth different starting lineup in as many league games when they face Sporting KC, a team that has had precious few health concerns. Sporting have six players who have started all 10 of their games and eight players who have at least appeared in every match.
The Sounders, by contrast, have just three players who have started all seven of their matches and one more who has played in every one. By Wednesday, that will be reduced by at least one more as Yedlin will be forced to miss his first match of the season.
It has gotten so bad that Schmid was even asked if he felt his team was almost cursed.
“Do I feel we’re cursed? I think it’s more difficult this season,” he responded. “We’ve got to continue to play away and continue to be patient. As I told the team, our last four games we haven’t lost. We’ve won one and tied three, included the Santos game, and three of those four have been on the road.
"When you look at it like that, I think we’re starting to catch ourselves. We’re starting to get a better balance of players on the field in terms of work rate, being able to hold onto the ball, skills, etc.”