TUKWILA, Wash. — There were some much-welcomed additions to Seattle Sounders practice on Monday.
Designated Player Shalrie Joseph was able to fully participate in training for the first time since joining the team and Brad Evans was back after missing the past two matches. The Sounders are also expecting to get Obafemi Martins back from national team duty on Tuesday, with Eddie Johnson and Mario Martínez slated to rejoin the team on Thursday.
All five of those players missed Saturday’s loss to the San Jose Earthquakes, leaving the Sounders with just one point and one goal scored in their first three league games.
“I thought we put ourselves in dangerous situations, but we were like a butter knife trying to cut bread,” Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said of the team’s offense. “We weren’t quite sharp enough when we needed to be at the key moments. That’s something we’ll work on this week.”
While it’s unclear just how soon he’ll be able to contribute, the Sounders are hopeful that Joseph can help kickstart the offense. A calf injury has forced the veteran midfielder to focus on cardio-vascular fitness during the month since being acquired via trade from Chivas USA.
“I kept trying to rush it and get back out there,” Joseph said. “That’s just me. I’m trying prove myself. You can’t explain in words how excited I am to get back out there and represent these colors. They took a chance on me and I just want to repay that favor.”
Joseph sounded optimistic that he would at least be able to travel for next Saturday’s game against Real Salt Lake. But Schmid pumped the brakes a little when asked about who would be available this week.
“It’s important that we are healthy and that we’re playing well as we move forward with the season,” he said. “To try and rush someone back because we’re panicking because we haven’t gotten a win yet and have them suffer an injury that puts them out for a long period of time makes no sense.”