MLS Soccer

Sounders defender Roman Torres lost for season

Sounders defender Roman Torres, right, jumps for a ball Saturday against the Earthquakes in San Jose. Torres injured his knee during the game and will miss the rest of the season.
Sounders defender Roman Torres, right, jumps for a ball Saturday against the Earthquakes in San Jose. Torres injured his knee during the game and will miss the rest of the season. The Associated Press

The Seattle Sounders’ dream lineup combining their three designated players along with a couple of midseason international signings won’t come together in 2015.

Newly acquired central defender Roman Torres suffered a season-ending knee injury Saturday in the 1-1 draw at San Jose, a club representative confirmed Monday. Additional information is expected from coach Sigi Schmid on Tuesday.

Schmid had said Monday morning that the club was awaiting word on a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test on Torres’ knee. But by early afternoon, Sounders right back Tyrone Mears posted words of condolence and support on Instagram.

“Really sorry to hear the extent of my teammate’s injury,” he wrote (some of his post is edited here).” Such a good player and nice guy. We will support you all the way on your road to recovery. I’ve experienced long-term injuries and know how hard it can be. Stay strong, Amigo.”

Soon after, the club confirmed Torres will miss the remainder of the season, which is down to five regular-season games, one CONCACAF Champions League match, and — the club hopes — the MLS playoffs.

Torres, 29, signed with the club Aug. 12 after high-profile appearances as captain of the Panama national team in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

“Roman is one of the best defenders in CONCACAF and an imposing player who we believe will make an impact in MLS,” general manager Garth Lagerwey said at the time.

Torres made his Sounders debut four days later, going the full 90 minutes in a 4-0 win over Orlando City. He made his fourth MLS start at San Jose, but went down with the knee injury just before halftime. He waved off the stretcher and limped off the field. But he used crutches to leave the locker room.

When the Sounders return to action Saturday at Vancouver, Torres is expected to be replaced at central defense by either Brad Evans or Zach Scott.

However, Evans also left the San Jose game with concussion symptoms, and his status remains uncertain.

“He came in this morning feeling pretty good,” Schmid said Monday. “But there’s a little bit of a protocol that they’ve got to go through. … You can go through the protocol in four days. But if symptoms come back, then you always fall back to the beginning.”

The Torres and Evans injuries came in a match that began encouragingly: the first time designated players Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins and newly acquired Nelson Valdez all started together. Dempsey and Martins played the two forward positions while Valdez — also listed as a forward — shifted to the left wing.

“I asked Nelson can he play wide left for us because we still feel more comfortable in a 4-4-2 at this moment,” Schmid said. “And he said yeah. He said to me as well, ‘I can play here all the time if that’s what you want me to do, I just need a game or two to get used to it.’ He’s such a good competitor and team player. … And as he plays with Oba and Clint, the understanding grows. They had a couple of interchanges between them. He understands that Oba and Clint have a unique relationship, so we’ve got to get them close together.”

The San Jose game also marked the first MLS appearance for midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz, who signed with the club Aug. 4 but whose debut was delayed by a quadriceps injury.

“Obviously, people could see that he’s got good service on set pieces,” Schmid said. “… There’s a lot of things on TV you can’t see that we talked about as coaches (Monday) morning — Where was his positioning? How was his defending? — things like that. So, I can’t really comment on those things.”

Schmid missed the San Jose match with a health issue of his own, but he said he will return to the bench this weekend.

“I’ll be in Vancouver,” Schmid said, “whether they want me or not.”

Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808

don.ruiz@thenewstribune.com

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