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April 8, 2014 at 3:33 PM

Tuesday notes: Sounders have no plans to recall loanees after rash of injuries

Here are some notes after practice as the Sounders returned to action Tuesday:

*     *     *

— There was big news earlier in the day that rookie defender Damion Lowe underwent hip surgery Monday and forward Kevin Parsemain has torn his ACL. Coach Sigi Schmid was asked about how both injuries came about.

“Damion, in one practice a couple weeks ago, felt a little twinge in there, felt a little pull, and so we rested him for a little bit to see how he’s reacting to it,” Schmid said. “It wasn’t getting any better. (We) did an MRI, found a tear in the MRI. Then he went up to Colorado to consult with (specialist Marc Philippon) to make a decision. Obviously they decided surgery, but it should be three to four months for him to be able to get back on the field to play. He’ll probably be back training and starting to do things with the team in six weeks, eight weeks.

“Kevin, just in the game on Sunday, the reserve game … felt his foot stick a little bit in the grass (when he planted), and that was probably what threw it into an ACL tear. We’re not quite sure when we want to do surgery yet. We want his range of motion to be good and there’s a bit of swelling in there right now. Once that swelling comes down and once that’s where it needs to be, then we’ll do surgery.”

— So might the Sounders explore options in terms of possibly recalling players from loan (David Estrada in Atlanta, Jimmy Ockford with the Cosmos or Eriq Zavaleta with Chivas USA)? “We always have options with those guys,” Schmid said. “Right now in the short term, it probably doesn’t change anything. It might change some things long term.”

— Here is an update from Schmid on Brad Evans (calf) and Andy Rose (hamstring): “Both doing better. Again, it was a little different training for them. Evans we’re being really slow with because he has a tendency to push too hard too quick, and we think that’s why he set himself back a little bit. So we want to make sure that if he’s not ready for Dallas this weekend that he’s definitely going to be ready for Chivas the next weekend.”

— Looking back on the Portland game, Schmid noted it probably could’ve ended 6-6 and added: “How many times do teams score three goal-of-the-week goals in one game?” There were some defensive errors, the coach admitted, but the team’s never-say-die spirit showed loud and clear.

— That isn’t to say the team has pushed aside the defensive issues. That was a main focus of Tuesday’s practice (e.g. being better in transition, getting tighter to marks, doing a better job of sliding across the field), and Schmid noted ahead of Saturday’s road game in Dallas, against the top-scoring team in the league: “We’ll be better defensively than we were against Portland.”

Lamar Neagle and Marco Pappa are two guys who have had their roles reduced, but Schmid was pleased with what both brought off the bench in Portland. The team shifted more into a 4-4-2 formation to make the personnel fit. Continuing to find the right scheme will be on the agenda this week.

— As it relates to the Clint DempseyObafemi Martins partnership, Schmid noted: “I don’t care who scores and I don’t care who gets the assist, as long as we’re scoring as a team.”

— One reporter asked Schmid for an update on No. 3 goalkeeper Josh Ford, a UConn product who saw his alma mater claim the NCAA men’s basketball title Monday. “Josh is fine,” Schmid said. “Josh is one of the best shot-stoppers you ever want to see. At training and so forth, what he does is extremely good. And with his knee injury last year and having to work through that and the surgery, we wanted to make sure that we gave him the time to be able to come back and get himself back to the level that we felt he was at. He’s a goalkeeper we think is a very talented goalkeeper for the future. There might be a time as we move forward in this season that there will be possibilities for us to loan him out a little bit to get some games, as well. I think that’s important for him. He’s definitely a goalkeeper that we feel very good about.”

— There were a couple of guys in particular who struggled against the Timbers, Michael Azira and Jalil Anibaba. Here is what Schmid said about both:

“I thought it was a big game for Michael Azira, and obviously it’s probably amongst the biggest crowds he’s played in front of with the exception of maybe a game back in his home country with the national team. It’s a game you have to get used to. For him it was a difficult game, but he’ll be fine.

“I thought (Anibaba) just had a bad game in terms of a couple of plays. Certainly he made a couple good plays, where he sets up (Kenny) Cooper for the goal, and he’s unlucky not to get a goal in the second half that hits Oba in the foot. So he makes a couple of good plays, but then there were a couple of plays where he needs to step up and get tighter — he knows that. And obviously where he gets stripped from behind by (Maximiliano) Urruti. … I don’t think it’s a case where he was overwhelmed. Certainly it’s different playing in a Seattle-Portland game than a Chicago-Portland game. The crowd is the same, but the atmosphere is a little bit different. He knows that, as well. He made some good plays; he made some bad plays. He’ll continue to be a part of what we’re doing – an important part.”

| More in Practice notes, Sounders FC


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