Open Cup: Seattle Sounders' Sigi Schmid confirms absence of leading scorer Obafemi Martins
After taking the last week off from training, the Seattle Sounders should be rested ahead of their fourth-round US Open Cup game on Wednesday. But the Sounders will still be well short of a full squad when they face amateur side PSA Elite at Starfire Soccer Stadium (10 pm ET).
In addition to missing United States World Cup team members Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin, they’ll also be without leading scorer Obafemi Martins. There had been some speculation that Martins could be made available for early-round Open Cup games after he picked up a red card in the Sounders’ final MLS game before the break, but that won’t be the case.
“We had already agreed on his days off,” Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid told reporters on Saturday. “That to me was still a harsh red card because I don’t believe anyone really saw it from the officiating crew. I think it was was one of those where you add up one plus one, you see a player go down, another player grabbing the ball and you make an assumption he must have hit him. ... I thought it was a little bit harsh, but that’s just my opinion.”
Harsh or not, Schmid admitted the Sounders won’t be appealing the card, either.
“We considered appealing, but it was a situation where even the panoramic camera when you zoomed in it wasn’t a clear enough figure,” he said. “It was one of those things where you’re not innocent until proven guilty, you’re guilty until proven innocent. We really couldn’t prove innocence off that camera.
“It was a judgemental thing from the officials. You can make an assumption that they really didn’t see it. But that goes back to the one-plus-one equation and we can’t make the same mistake.”
If the Sounders appealed and it was denied, they would have only been allowed to make one more unsuccessful appeal to the independent review board before having that privilege revoked.
After sitting out the Sounders' next June 28 league match in DC due to suspension, Martins will be eligible to return to MLS action on July 5 when the Sounders play Cascadia rivals Vancouver Whitecaps.
Jeremiah Oshan covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com.