Jhon Kennedy Hurtado became the fourth Sounder to make 100 MLS appearances for the team, reaching the milestone against the Chicago Fire in a home game that went late Saturday.
Hurtado, 29, is one of six players that have been with Seattle since the club’s inaugural year in 2009.
The Colombian defender’s tenure has included several ups and downs — from being an MLS All-Star and Defender of the Year finalist in his first season to a devastating knee injury in 2010 — though he played down the significance of reaching the 100 Club earlier in the week.
“Every game is important to me,” Hurtado said. “It doesn’t matter what is the team in front of us. So it’s keep going, focus on the game, play hard.
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“This is my fifth year with the team; I have a good feeling here with my family. My kids were born here, that’s really important for me, and the coaching staff, my teammates have been a part of my life. I’m so happy for that.”
The only players with more league appearances for the Sounders than Hurtado are Osvaldo Alonso (132), Fredy Montero (119) and Brad Evans (107).
Hurtado has been in and out of the lineup the past few seasons, this year included, but coach Sigi Schmid indicated the defender has shown significant improvement over the past few months.
A particular concern was anticipating instead of reacting, according to Schmid.
“He knows when he reacts to plays, he’s physically gifted enough that a lot of times he can still win those situations successfully,” the coach added, “but when you’re going against really top-quality forwards in our league, you have to anticipate a little bit more. He knows that it’s part of the game that he always needs to work on, and he’s aware and he’s done a really, really, good job the last two games for us that way.”
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Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org