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March 18, 2013 at 11:20 AM

Sounders lose three to national team duty

UPDATE 11:15 a.m. (Mon.) — The Sounders have confirmed the exits of Johnson, Martinez and Martins. All three will miss Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. road game at San Jose. Seattle has some injury concerns with Brad Evans, Shalrie Joseph, Patrick Ianni, Adam Johansson and a few others.

The Earthquakes, for their part, will be without defenders Victor Bernardez (Honduras) and Justin Morrow (USA) to national team duty, as well. San Jose is also dealing with injuries to guys like Marvin Chavez, Steven Lenhart, Alan Gordon, Steven Beitashour and Mike Fucito and some others.

*     *     *

The Sounders will lose a trio of stars to national team duty.

Forward Obafemi Martins (Nigeria), forward Eddie Johnson (USA) and midfielder Mario Martinez (Honduras) have each been called in by their respective national teams, according to coach Sigi Schmid, for FIFA World Cup qualifiers starting next weekend.

Midfielder Brad Evans is on standby with the U.S. national team, Schmid said: “With his injury, he’s coming along, but we’ll see.”

Here’s the schedule of relevant games:

Friday, March 22 — Honduras vs. Mexico, USA vs. Costa Rica
Saturday, March 23 — Nigeria vs. Kenya
Tuesday, March 26 — Mexico vs. USA, Panama vs. Honduras

“It’s frustrating,” Schmid said. “It just delays it another week because we can’t train together. We need some time right now to train together; hopefully once we get all them back we can implement that. But we still have the rest of the guys here, so we can get that nucleus to play and the cohesion within that group a little bit better right now.”

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