We were able to catch up with a couple important Sounders FC players dealing with lingering or minor injuries. Seattle midfielder Steve Zakuani missed Saturday’s 0-0 draw with a pelvic strain, and in that game forward Fredy Montero was shaken up on a violent collision with opposing goalkeeper Zach Thornton, who is generously listed at 230 pounds.
Here are the Q&A transcripts, with teammate David Estrada providing the translation for Montero:
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STEVE ZAKUANI, midfielder
(How are you feeling?) “OK. Good. Better than I did on Friday. Did a little bit today, played a bit of a neutral in possession and stuff. Obviously still not where I wish I could be, but I definitely think it’s better than it was.”
(What happened and what’s bothering you?) “It’s something I had for a couple weeks. A bit before the Metapan game I began to feel tightness in my groin, but it was something where I could train through it and I’d be sore the next day. But I could train through it and get through it. On Thursday it was the first time I began to feel it during training. I couldn’t really sprint, I couldn’t really cut properly and I got nervous because I haven’t really had many injuries. There’s no way I could’ve played Saturday just because I wouldn’t have been fit enough to do what I normally do by running and sprinting. That’s the main thing, right now sprinting is very tough. I can jog and do everything else, but sprinting is very hard. It’s just in the groin area. We’ve look at it, had an MRI, it came back good. I’m on all kinds of pain killers and medication right now, so I’m just trying to push through.”
(Are you traveling tomorrow?) “I don’t know yet. I need to go and meet with Sigi, have a chat with him. I don’t know.”
(On the frustrations) “The team’s playing well, of course, but it’s frustrating from just that perspective that you don’t want to mess up momentum. When it’s something that you’re exactly sure what it is, you get a bit nervous. And I’m not the kind of guy who can sit at home and watch the game on TV. I couldn’t watch that game, I had to switch it because you can’t control it and you get nervous. It’s something where I’m going to be smart about it. Like I said to the coach before the game, I’d rather miss a game and come back, rather than keep playing, keep playing and eventually break down and miss 6-7 games. That’s the worst scenario for me. We have about 15-20 games left this year, it’s a long season still, so it’s not make or break. We have a very good squad, lots of good players, so it’s something where I’m going to be smart about it and see what I need to do.”
FREDY MONTERO, forward
(Ever collide with someone that big before?) “Never. First time ever.”
(How did you feel after the hit?) “After the hit, I felt confused. But my mentality was to keep on playing.”
(Ever think of coming out?) “I never thought about coming out, but when I got back home, I saw the replay and that’s when I thought I probably should’ve come out.”
(Does your leg or head hurt more?) “My leg hurts the most right now.”
(Do you think you’ll travel and be able to play?) “I’m sure I will.”
(On the importance of the non-MLS games coming up) “(CCL is) the only opportunity to demonstrate the team on an international level and we’re the last champions of the Open Cup so we have to defend our title.