The Sounders returned to training Friday after a day off. Here are some notes:
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— Numbers were definitely boosted upon the returns of Eddie Johnson, Adam Johansson and Mario Martinez from international duty. They all practiced and looked ready to go Sunday. The session was a little different, however, since many of the players who featured in Wednesday’s 0-0 tie had a light day off to the side.
— Defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado was back in training wearing a protective mask. He might have to wear it for six weeks, but they’ll continue to evaluate whether that’s the case. It sounds like the fit was designed to keep pressure points away from the fracture, so there’s little concern of re-injury. How Hurtado adjusts to it will be key. He says it’s a little different but OK and ultimately looks ready to go Sunday versus FC Dallas.
— Martinez talked to us about a successful stint with the Honduran national team (they earned advancement to the final round of World Cup qualifying in CONCACAF). He scored two goals in a big 8-1 win over Canada on Tuesday, but missed a goal at one point during Friday’s practice. Coach Sigi Schmid then joked to him: “Look, we’re not playing Canada today.”
— Schmid followed up that quip by saying Canadian youth national Babayele Sodade scored right after that to “show me that Canada’s not completely lost at this stage.”
— Johansson talked to us for a bit about Sweden’s amazing four-goal comeback Tuesday versus Germany, a game he watched from the bench. He let Schmid know about the result by expressing his patriotic pride Friday. “As a result of that (game),” the coach joked. “I think I have to eat Swedish meatballs for a week.”
— Steve Zakuani (oblique strain) was able to train Friday, which is a good sign for a potential return after missing Wednesday’s game. It is still unknown how long Patrick Ianni (calf) will be out.
— There was a lot of love from teammates for Brad Evans, the center back. “He was great,” Johansson said. “Amazing,” added Hurtado.
— Schmid said they’ll definitely be keeping track of the Vancouver-Portland game Sunday, which will determine whether the Cascadia Cup stays with Seattle or goes to the Timbers. “We don’t want that Cascadia Cup to go down to Portland, that’s for sure,” the coach said. “We’d like it to stay here. I think that would be a great moment for our fans. It’d be nice to see them during the game pass that thing around.” Logistically, however, that’s impossible since the trophy will be in Vancouver for the 4 p.m. game. The match here against FC Dallas kicks off at 6 p.m.
— Also worth noting, a Vancouver win Sunday would knock Dallas out of the playoffs, so that make have ramifications on Sunday’s game at CenturyLink Field. “Maybe it takes a little bit of the edge off the game for them,” Schmid said hypothetically, “but we have to approach the game that same way. It’s all about us and us playing well and not worrying about what their motivation is.”