The Seattle Sounders dealt with a collection of injuries during the regular season's stretch run, but with two weeks to mend before their Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs Round One matchup against Real Salt Lake at Lumen Field on Tuesday night (10:30 pm ET | FS1, FOX Deportes), the Rave Green are getting closer to full-strength.
Head coach Brian Schmetzer indicated that could be the case at Seattle's training session at Starfire Sports Complex on Monday, their final tune-up before their postseason opener. Asked about the health of Designated Players Joao Paulo, Raul Ruidiaz and Nicolas Lodeiro, all of whom were sidelined for Seattle's Decision Day draw against the Vancouver Whitecaps, Schmetzer said all three could feature Tuesday.
Joao Paulo and Ruidiaz each missed time recently with their respective hamstring injuries, while Lodeiro has played just nine games this season due to a recurring knee injury.
"Great, good, 100 percent," Schmetzer said of Joao Paulo and Ruidiaz, before adding of Lodeiro: "If you ask him, he says he's going to be 100 percent. We'll see about that one. He'll be on the bench, I'll tell you that right now, and I will play him. I'm not afraid to play him."
Seattle will have to make do without Nouhou in central defense after the Cameroonian entered the league's health and safety protocols. Left back Jimmy Medranda is also questionable with a hamstring injury, as is center back Xavier Arreaga, who picked up a knock while on international duty with Ecuador.