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April 5, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Friday notes: Evans aggravates calf injury, uncertain for second leg at Santos Laguna

Here are some quick notes from Sounders FC practice Friday at Starfire, led off by a tweet from forward Obafemi Martins, who is away getting treatment on a knee injury…

*     *     *

— The team has picked up another injury concern as midfielder Brad Evans aggravated a calf strain and could miss the second leg of a CONCACAF Champions League semifinal at Mexico’s Santos Laguna. “He was doing well coming back from that, and it’s not nearly as bad as it was, but it’s still something that could prevent him from playing,” said coach Sigi Schmid. “He’s another where we’ll see on Sunday where he’s at.”

— The other played that Schmid indicated they’d have to look at Sunday is forward Eddie Johnson, who did a lot but not all of the training work Friday as he deals with a hamstring issue. “He was able to do more today,” the coach said, “so we wanted to see. He was able to be in the full warmup, and we got him to do a little bit of the offense vs. defense. Tomorrow’s an easier day, so we’ll see where he’s at Sunday and we’ll make a determination whether he’s a guy who can start, whether he’s a guy who can come and play off the bench for us… We’ll have to make that determination then.”

— Here’s what Johnson had to say when asked how he’s doing: “I feel good. Another day to get better. Did a lot of running around today, so I feel good. Did some work yesterday. Each day I’m getting better. I’m looking forward to the game.”

— Goalkeeper Michael Gspurning left early from training, but Schmid said they just wanted to lighten his workload: “He’s OK. He had a good hard training session on Tuesday when we had the game and had a good hard training session yesterday, so we eased off a little bit on him today.”

— In some other personnel news, absent were Martins (see above), David Estrada (eye) and Philip Lund (visa, presumably, forgot to ask about that one). Patrick Ianni (foot) is still doing work on the side.

— The Sounders, of course, have the weekend off from league play as MLS rescheduled the Chivas USA game from Sunday to September. It was a welcome luxury. “It allows us to prepare for the second leg down in Torreon,” Schmid said. “I wish we’d get some heat pumped in here, so we’d have weather that was more similar to Torreon, but it is what it is and we’ll get ourselves ready.”

— Santos, on the other hand, has a Liga MX game at Tijuana. So what will Schmid be looking for in that one? “We’re going to look a little bit as to who they play, what group they play,” he said. “They’ve been playing a similar group pretty much week in and week out. … They change a few people, two or three guys, but a lot of other guys play a lot of minutes. (Oribe) Peralta‘s coming off injury, so it’ll be interesting to see how he does. It’ll be interesting what happens with (Darwin) Quintero, because he pulled up with an injury. It’ll give us a little bit of an indication of maybe who’s injured and who’s putting extra minutes on their backs, and hopefully we can take advantage of that.”

— Play in the final third has been an emphasis at practice, particularly free kicks and corner kicks. “We wanted to possibly have a bit more variety in what we do there, because we aren’t getting a lot of success right now,” Schmid said. “Just trying to work on things … and hope that changes things. The quality is there, it’s just a matter of getting that goal, getting that confidence.”

— Lastly, for the Twitter folk, defender Djimi Traore now has an account.


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