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— Topics like the return of Osvaldo Alonso, sounding off on referee Mark Geiger and a potential change at goalkeeper have already been covered here on the blog. For my print story, here’s a look at the recent slump with a focus on a couple DPs that have suffered from injuries and haven’t been able to regain their 2011 form as yet.
— Elsewhere, the biggest news might have been on the injury front. Coach Sigi Schmid said defenders Patrick Ianni (back) and Leo Gonzalez (quad) would be available for selection if the team so chooses, which will help with Jhon Kennedy Hurtado suspended due to Saturday’s red card. Right back Adam Johansson (hamstring) is also “pretty much back,” according to Schmid.
— Goalkeeper Michael Gspurning “continues to make headway” in his return from the hip injury, the coach said. Gspurning is starting to ramp up his activity in training, but I’d think it’ll still be a couple more weeks before his full return. Remember, patience is key with this issue.
— And in a little surprise, Schmid wouldn’t rule out midfielder Steve Zakuani from consideration for the 18-man gameday roster Wednesday against Sporting Kansas City. Asked specifically about it and the coach said, “Not sure yet.” Zakuani played 45 minutes in a reserve game a couple weeks ago and he’s “definitely improved his training and so forth,” the coach said. “He’s taken another step forward.”
— Waiver draft pickup Dawyne Smith has still not joined the team and Schmid indicated the issue would be addressed more thoroughly when general manager Adrian Hanauer and technical director Chris Henderson get back from a scouting trip in South America. And I’d by lying if I could say confident who the non-roster player is pictured above with the ball at his feet.