SEATTLE — If the Seattle Sounders want to pick up their first win in five tries, they will have to do it without Designated Player Fredy Montero. The striker will miss his second game – on Saturday vs. the Chicago Fire (4 pm ET, Direct Kick, MatchDay Live) – as he recovers from wrist surgery.
Coach Sigi Schmid said Thursday that Montero won’t play because of residual swelling and a chance of infection in the wound.
“He’s able to do some light stuff and we had him out here doing a little bit of stuff before, but right now, unless there is a miraculous change [on Friday], it doesn’t look likely [that he’ll play],” Schmid said after Thursday’s training session.
With Schmid confirming Friday that the miraculous change did not materialize, Mauro Rosales is expected to fill Montero’s spot. Rosales’ inclusion is as close to a like-to-like switch on the Sounders roster. The creative Argentine veteran has impressed teammates after his first start of the season, and set up Seattle’s first goal last week against San Jose before tiring in the second half.
However, Schmid does not rule out further lineup changes.
“I thought in the first half last week offensively we played alright, but we are still looking at possibilities and maybe some lineup changes,” Schmid said.
[inline_node:330827]One possible change could involve Erik Friberg, who has substituted off at halftime against the Earthquakes, as he continues to recover from the flu. Schmid relayed that his Swedish utility midfielder says he feels a lot better. Should Friberg fail to start, it’s likely that Uruguayan midfielder Alvaro Fernandez would step in.
In the past two seasons, Seattle have had their way with the Fire. The Rave Green own a 2-0-2 all-time advantage over the Men in Red, including a pair of wins in 2010.
Desperate for three points, the Sounders hope that trend will continue Saturday. While it’s still very early in the season, there is a sense of urgency around the squad to get a victory.
“I don’t think any of us have been in this position before,” said midfielder Steve Zakuani. “Last year, when we struggled a bit at the beginning, we weren’t playing well. We knew why we weren’t winning. We are playing well now, the last two games especially ... we’re just not getting the win.”
A loss or tie would match Seattle’s longest winless streak. In 2009, the club failed to win in six consecutive matches from May 2-June 6. ...
An illness robbed Schmid of his voice earlier this week. However, he appears to be on the mend.
“I feel a lot better but my voice still isn't a lot better,” Schmid told The Seattle Times. “I'm actually alert out there on the practice field again, so that's good.”
A win against the Fire will undoubtedly help the coach’s spirits.
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