Sounders FC forward/midfielder Cordell Cato has returned to the team after spending the past couple weeks with the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic qualifying team.
He called the experience “good and bad.”
The good came early, when he played well in an exhibition against club teammate Babayele Sodade and Canada. Cato then scored in another warmup, a 6-1 win against a college team.
But as the tournament got going, Cato injured his ankle in a training session before T&T’s second group-stage game when he went up for a ball and landed badly. The injury kept him from playing the rest of the tournament.
“It was the most frustrating thing I’ve had to face since I’ve been up here because it would’ve been a great opportunity to represent my country,” he said. “Not only represent, but do the best I could to help us qualify (for the Olympics). It would’ve been our first time. It was sad, really sad just sitting there and watching and not being able to do what I can do.”
Sodade, as we know, also had a bad end to his tournament in what appears to be a major knee injury. The team hasn’t confirmed the extent of the injury yet, but Sodade was walking with the aid of crutches Wednesday and has indicated on Twitter that he’s facing a long rehab.
Back to Cato, and the 19 year old actually wanted to train with the Sounders on Thursday, but head trainer Randy Noteboom held him out. The swelling in his ankle has reduced and coach Sigi Schmid said they “don’t think it’s serious.”
Said Cato: “Right now I’m able to run, pass and everything like normal. It’s just when I’m stopping instantly or turning, that’s when I get a little pain. But I’ll be fine by a couple days, a week … hopefully sooner rather than later.”
Cato isn’t sure when his next opportunity with the national team will come, but he’s switching his focus back to the Sounders.
“I’m going to work hard as much as I can,” he said. “This is where I’m at right now. This is my club team and it all depends on how it goes here — the amount of minutes that I get and how I perform. If I can perform here, then I can perform there. It all depends on how I do here.”