MLS Soccer

Coach Sigi Schmid joins Sounders’ injury list

There was an unlikely addition to the Seattle Sounders’ injury list Wednesday, as coach Sigi Schmid watched training from a golf cart while a protective boot cushioned his left foot.

After the session, he used crutches to walk over to meet the media and explain.

“I wish there was a fantastic story,” Schmid began. “… Just slipped coming out on my back step. Slipped, and I stuck a landing. Unfortunately, the landing was entirely on my left foot. Didn’t bruise or hit anything and all my body weight came down on my left foot, so I’ve broken the fibula. It was either high-ankle sprain or broken fibula. So right now the first 48 hours or 72 hours is just dealing with the pain a little bit. But it will get better.”

Schmid said he talked with his team about the incident and let his assistant coaches run practice. It was his team’s first session since its 1-1 draw at Houston on Sunday, and the first in advance of a Saturday night visit from the Philadelphia Union.

“This was definitely a good tie,” he said. “Now we’ve gotten two games that we’ve gotten points out of, haven’t lost. Now we’ve got to build on that at home.”

Schmid addressed several other team issues:

▪  Forward Nelson Valdez (leg) and midfielder Erik Friberg (knee) returned to training, but their status for the weekend remains uncertain.

▪  Schmid didn’t tip his hand regarding possible changes among the starting forwards, who have provided only one goal — a Clint Dempsey header — through the first five games. Schmid continues to note that chances are being created, but he acknowledged “we need to get more goals.” He added that will be a primary issue in training this week.

▪  He complimented the play of forwards Herculez Gomez and Oalex Anderson, who provided chances and energy in reserve appearances at Houston. However, he didn’t commit to changes in their roles.

“(Anderson) is a guy who can come off the bench and find the game fairly quickly, and Herculez did that too — and that’s always something good to know,” Schmid said. “Do they push themselves further ahead at this stage? You never know. Houston was pretty tired in the second half — they were a little bit gassed. Why, I don’t know, but for some reason. So the game was also a little bit easier then. But certainly Oalex’s speed and Herculez’s decision-making help us.”

Schmid said Gomez’s fitness has reached a level where he could play 45-60 minutes. And he added that Anderson should be ready for the weekend despite playing 28 minutes in S2’s 2-2 draw with Rio Grande Valley on Tuesday.

“(Anderson) missed a lot of preseason, so he’s still building his fitness,” Schmid said. “He’s a young guy, so we felt 30 to 45 minutes wasn’t going to hurt him in preparation for Saturday.”

▪ Schmid also gave an update on Nouhou Tolo, an 18-year-old defender from Cameroon signed by S2 and immediately sent into action Tuesday.

“He trained with us while we were waiting for his (paperwork),” Schmid said. “He was definitely a guy … that we wanted to bring back. He’s a young outside back. We thought he had some qualities for the future.”

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