Two Sounders have fulfilled their latest duty with the U.S. men’s national team, but only one will return to action this weekend.
Eddie Johnson, who started and scored his 18th international goal in Wednesday’s 4-3 comeback win at Bosnia-Herzegovina, will be suspended for Seattle’s road game Saturday against the Houston Dynamo due to yellow-card accumulation.
Brad Evans, who started at right back, will be available and is expected to join the Sounders in Houston on Thursday.
They were the only MLS players called up for the game, which didn’t exactly help amid a competitive playoff race for the Sounders.
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“We could be upset about it or we could be proud about it,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “I’m going to choose to be proud.”
Johnson has reason to be upset, though.
The forward earned his suspension when cautioned by referee Mark Geiger for alleged flopping in Saturday’s 2-1 road win at Toronto FC. Geiger has had his share of controversy in Sounders games, and this proved no different.
“If I’m going to get a yellow card, I’d rather deserve to get a yellow card,” Johnson said. “I don’t think that’s a yellow card, man. It is difficult going into a game knowing you can’t concede a yellow card, knowing that you’re going to get suspended, and I felt like I played a fair game. It was my first offense and I got a yellow card. It’s a shame.”
Obafemi Martins is “coming along” from a sprained ankle suffered in Toronto and is considered day to day, according to Schmid. The forward was limited to riding a stationary bike at practice Wednesday. Asked if Saturday’s game at Houston would be too soon for Martins’ return, Schmid said: “Don’t know yet.”
• Clint Dempsey was a notable absence from Wednesday’s friendly in Bosnia, but the USMNT captain said the time off will help him get acclimated with the Sounders.
“I need to make sure that we get the right results and that we make the playoffs,” he said. “If you don’t make the playoffs, you don’t have a chance to win the MLS Cup.
“It’s good to be here and try to help this team to do that and also for me to get that fitness and that sharpness.”
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @joshuamayers