Here are a quick notes from Tuesday’s practice…
— Coach Sigi Schmid said all three of Sounders FC’s international call-ups should be back in training with the group on Thursday (the team is off Wednesday). Obafemi Martins was due in this afternoon from action with Nigeria over the weekend. Eddie Johnson and Mario Martinez play in CONCACAF qualifiers tonight.
— Midfielder Shalrie Joseph and Brad Evans were back in training again, and Schmid said they felt and looked good. Joseph, the coach felt, was a little heavy-legged on Monday — his first day back in a while.
— Defender Djimi Traore was jogging off to the side with the light wrap around his right knee. We had been told that the injury isn’t serious. If he’s able to go Thursday-Friday, he should be OK. Patrick Ianni (foot) continues to be limited in training.
— Regarding the previous post on Michael Gspurning‘s suspension for the first semifinal leg against Mexico’s Santos Laguna, all eyes are now on backup Marcus Hahnemann. Schmid said, “It’s nice to have Marcus, and it’s the reason we have him. It’s going to be a big-game opportunity for him, and the team is very confident in Marcus, as well.”
— I asked for another update on unsigned rookie Will Bates, who just recently joined full training after some injury issues. Here what Schmid said: “He’s coming along. Obviously we wanted him to get over the knee surgery that he had. I think he’s over that, but then he came up with shin splints, so we had to let the shin splints calm down. He’s been able to train this week, so between this week and next week we’ll be able to make a final decision here.”
— Lastly, Schmid was asked how he’s going to handle lineup decisions with Saturday’s road MLS game at Real Salt Lake and then a quick turnaround for Tuesday’s CCL semifinal opener against Santos. “I don’t know. What do you think?” the coach joked. “That’s something we’re still looking at. Obviously we want to see how the national team games go today; how many minutes guys put on their backs. So if a guy like Mario, who played like 82 or 83 minutes in Game 1, if he plays 90 minutes now tonight in Panama, it’s probably going to be tough for him to play Saturday and Tuesday. So we have to make a decision there. We’ll see how much Eddie plays, whether we think he can go Saturday-Tuesday. Ceratinly a guy like Evans coming off injury can’t go Saturday and Tuesday at this stage, so we have to balance it off a little bit and see what we have.”