Sounders FC: OUT — FW Obafemi Martins (R leg tendon injury), FW David Estrada (L eye injury). QUESTIONABLE — FW Eddie Johnson (L hamstring strain), MID Brad Evans (L calf strain), DEF Patrick Ianni (R foot fracture)
New England: OUT — DEF Kevin Alston (disabled list/illness), FW Chad Barrett (L hamstring strain). QUESTIONABLE — GK Matt Reis (L knee irritation), FW Saer Sene (L ACL tear), MID Juan Toja (L knee irritation)
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Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid told KJR-AM radio on Thursday that Evans might be at risk of reinjury if he plays this week, so I might lean him more toward the doubtful side or maybe someone who comes off the bench.
But the name here that resonates with both teams is Alston, New England’s 24-year-old defender, who was recently diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), a rare but treatable form of leukemia. He is on indefinite leave from the team as he seeks treatment.
Alston was an MLS All-Star in 2010 and Steve Zakuani has referred to him in the past as one of the best right backs in the league.
Seattle midfielder Shalrie Joseph, who played 10 seasons in New England, got to know Alston very well. The two had even roomed together in the past.
“He took care of my dog — that’s how close he is (to me),” Joseph said. “It’s unbelievable what’s happened to him, being so young and being so talented. He’s going to bounce back. He’s a strong kid. He knows what he needs to do, and we just send our prayers and thanks to him and his family. We hope everything goes well for him.”
Added Schmid: “When you lose a member of the team to something like that you realize that life is more than just a game. I’m sure they’d like to give those wins to him and dedicate it to him … Our prayers and thoughts are with Kevin, as well, and we hope things go well for him in his treatment.”
Fans wishing to send Alston get-well messages or thought can email GetWellKevinAlston@gmail.com or tag tweets with #GetWellKA.