TUKWILA, Wash. – Playing 45 minutes in a Reserve League game doesn’t mean David Estrada is all the way back. But he’s clearly getting close.
The Seattle Sounders forward has been out since May 26 with a broken foot and sounded at least ready to contribute following his performance with the reserves on Sunday in a 3-2 loss at Portland.
“I know right now I’m a little bit aways from [playing with the first team], but I’m ready whenever the coach calls my number,” said Estrada, who was sporting a bit of a black eye after being hit with a ball. “I felt good for 45 minutes so I know now it’s not realistically as a starter, but as a sub. For that I know I’m ready.”
Estrada’s first appearance since the injury wasn’t exactly one for the highlight reels, but he seems to understand that it wasn’t really about that at this point.
“It was just nice to get touches on the ball,” he said. “As a forward, your job is to score goals but for me it was just about getting touches and hopefully having a positive impact on the team.”
Prior to his injury, Estrada was having a breakout season. The third-year player scored five goals and had started all but one of the Sounders’ first 13 games, while showcasing enough versatility to move from forward to both wide midfield spots.
At the time of the injury, Seattle had hoped Estrada would only miss six to eight weeks. He has actually been out closer to four months.
“I think every year a player goes through ups and downs and that was definitely a down for me,” Estrada said. “I started off really high and I’m just looking forward to build off of that. Just like last year, I had a good end to my year and I’m just trying to finish up strong again.”
Although other players have done well in Estrada’s absence, he could still play a significant role as the Sounders finish off CONCACAF Champions League play and head toward the playoffs.
“He adds an element of running hard, harassing the defense, stretching the defense,” Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said. “So that always gives us an element that isn’t always there when he’s not playing. [Sammy] Ochoa has been playing well also, so it’s always going to be competition, he knows that.”
Tiffert, Rosales staying home
Schmid said neither Christian Tiffert nor Mauro Rosales will travel with the team to Honduras for Wednesday’s CCL game against Marathón, but sounded optimistic that they would be ready by the time the Sounders play the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.