TUKWILA, Wash. – A full week of rest might not be enough for the Seattle Sounders to get healthy.
Head coach Sigi Schmid wasn’t sounding entirely optimistic about the prospects of Leo González or Mauro Rosales being 90 minutes fit in time for the second leg of the Western Conference Championship on Sunday (9 pm ET, ESPN, live chat on MLSsoccer.com).
“Guys are getting healthier,” Schmid said following Wednesday’s training session. “Guys are getting closer. Leo made his second practice today, we’ll see how that comes through. Mauro did more today. He was in the first part of practice as a neutral player. Having the week to allow people to recover is important.”
Rosales has not been fit enough to make the gameday roster in either of the Sounders’ past two playoff games after coming out of the first leg against Real Salt Lake with what has been deemed a right hamstring strain. It’s the second straight postseason in which he’s missed at least some time. During the regular season, Seattle scored 1.72 goals per game in matches he started, as opposed to .88 in all their other matches.
González has not played in a match since Oct. 7, as he continues to nurse a right hamstring strain. His absence is made doubly important because of the suspension to Marc Burch.
“Leo’s a good 1-v-1 defender, he matches up well with the Magees and the Donovans,” Schmid said, referring to LA’s Mike Magee and Landon Donovan, both of whom have seen time at right midfield in the playoffs. “He’s a good player so having him back would help.”