TUKWILA, Wash. — Injuries will continue to leave the Seattle Sounders without some of their best players for the foreseeable future, including Saturday's Cascadia Cup match against the Vancouver Whitecaps (10:30 pm ET, NBC Sports Network, live chat on MLSsoccer.com).
Osvaldo Alonso (quadriceps) has been ruled out for Saturday’s game against the Vancouver Whitecaps, while Steve Zakuani (sports hernia) is being scheduled for a surgery that could force him to miss the next few months.
“We’re hoping there’s a shot that [Alonso is] back by [June] 22,” Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said. “There’s a slight muscle tear there, we’ll just have to see. He generally recovers pretty well. It will be a week-to-week prognosis.”
Alonso has been unable to play a full match since May 11. An adductor strain forced him to the sidelines on May 18. He was able to return for last Saturday’s 2-0 win vs. Chivas USA, but suffered a quadriceps injury and came out after 21 minutes.
Despite Alonso suffering an injury in the same game which marked his return from another, Schmid said he isn’t rethinking the choice to allow his midfielder to play.
“It’s a different area, a different injury,” he said. “A little bit of it is maybe related to [the fact that] preseason training wasn’t the best. He missed a little bit due to an injury and it may have carried over a little bit. Having a break right now and being able to rebuild and re-strengthen is probably not the worst thing.”
As frustrating as that may be, Zakuani’s sports hernia is clearly worse. After returning from a broken leg and compartment syndrome last year, this was supposed to be the season that Zakuani regained his status as an elite midfielder. But the 25-year-old has been limited to just six games and he hasn’t played since April 20.
Schmid said it will take at least six-to-eight weeks just for Zakuani to be able to start training again and it could be even longer before he’s in playing shape. Schmid added that Zakuani’s recovery timelines tend to be a little longer than other players.
“It’s been tough,” Schmid said. “I haven’t seen him. We gave him a few days off when we were on the road last week. We texted to each other. When they don’t answer the phone, texting is the way to communicate and I don’t tweet.
“It’s something where he’s had to deal with numerous things in his career and it’s another thing he has to deal with.”
Jeremiah Oshan covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com.