TUKWILA, Wash. – Seattle Sounders fans can breath a little easier knowing injured midfielders Mauro Rosales and Christian Tiffert are expected to be ready for Saturday’s Cascadia Cup showdown with the Portland Timbers (3:30 pm ET, NBC, live chat on MLSsoccer.com).
Rosales, who leads MLS with 13 assists, is nursing a quadriceps injury that caused him to miss this past weekend's win over Chivas USA and was a limited participant in Tuesday’s training session. Tiffert came off in the 61st minute after sustaining an ankle injury and was limited to light jogging.
“They’re good,” Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said. “Christian had an MRI that turned out there’s nothing serious there. Today we wanted to go easy with him. I think he should be full in on Thursday. Mauro we just wanted build up today and tomorrow and he should be full in on Thursday as well.”
Both players have been significant parts of Seattle’s recent success. Although Tiffert has just two assists in six appearances, the Sounders have gone 4-1-1 in those games. They are 7-0-4 in the 11 games in which Rosales has a goal or an assist.
Sounders forward David Estrada (broken foot) returned to full training for the first time on Tuesday. Schmid said the club will re-assess him on Thursday before deciding on his availability for Saturday.
Left back Leo González came out of training early with an apparent knee injury, although it did not appear serious.
“He just jumped and he landed a bit again,” Schmid said. “His knee looks fine. Our trainer called it a ‘house maid’s’ knee. I don’t know what that means. He’s got a bump on his knee.”
Roster freeze looms
The MLS roster freeze deadline looms on Friday and the Sounders are still weighing their options. Romania international George Ogararu, 32, is still training with the Sounders, while Iceland international Eidur Gudjohnsen has returned to Europe. There’s still a possibility the Sounders could sign one or both.
“We’re looking at a bunch of things,” Schmid said. “Right now we’ll see what happens. Sometimes those things happen for you, sometimes they don’t. So we’ll know by Friday.”
Schmid also said the team has yet to decided whether or not they will enter the weighted lottery for former Wake Forest star Marcus Tracy. Schmid estimated Tracy could have been a Top 5 pick in the 2009 SuperDraft if he had chosen MLS instead of signing with Denmark’s Aalborg BK.
Jeremiah Oshan covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com and SB Nation.