TUKWILA – Sounders FC has been left confused and frustrated over Mario Martinez’s situation after the midfielder was named to Honduras’ 23-man roster for the upcoming CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said earlier this month he had been assured by Honduras coach Luis Fernando Suarez that Martinez would not be used in the July tournament.
Furthermore, Martinez was not on Honduras’ 35-man provisionary roster for the Gold Cup, which the confederation described as a “binding” list from which the final roster would be determined.
“It’s a little bit of a limbo, confusion state right now,” Schmid said after Friday’s practice.
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The confusion is exacerbated by the fact that Martinez’s loan with the Sounders is set to expire Sunday — also the deadline for Seattle to exercise its option to buy the talented 23-year-old.
Martinez, after a short break back home in Honduras, had been expected back with the Sounders for a scrimmage Friday but wasn’t there. He posted on Twitter earlier in the morning that it was possible he’d be returning to Honduran club Real Espana, where he is under contract.
Sounders executives said throughout the week that negotiations were ongoing, but Martinez’s standing with the team has become increasingly uncertain.
Seattle has already been without the midfielder because of his national-team duty for parts of January, February, March and June. The Gold Cup runs July 7-28 and Martinez would also be expected to rejoin Honduras for World Cup qualifying in September, October and possibly November.
That might be a hard sell for the Sounders, even for a player who scored one of the most important goals in franchise history — the series winner last year in the Western Conference semifinals against Real Salt Lake.
In other Gold Cup news, Sounders FC’s duo of Eddie Johnson and Brad Evans were not named to the U.S. roster following their time with the team in World Cup qualifying. It is possible they could be added by coach Jurgen Klinsmann during the knockout rounds of the tournament, which begin July 20.
Yedlin returns after U-20 World Cup
Defender DeAndre Yedlin was scheduled to return from the FIFA U-20 World Cup late Friday night. The 19-year-old Seattle native started all three group-stage games for the U.S. team, which was eliminated earlier Friday after going 0-2-1 against Spain, France and Ghana.
Yedlin suffered a separated shoulder in the final game against Ghana but could still be available for Seattle’s next game, Wednesday against D.C. United.
“His ability to get forward got shown,” Schmid said of Yedlin’s performance on the world stage. “He was able to display his speed. You don’t want to say they’re kids, because they’re already 19 and 20 years old, but there are still mistakes sometimes that happen and get made, but I thought DeAndre played well.”
• Evans is in the final year of his contract and said he would be open to playing in Europe if the opportunity was right. The 28-year-old has had a bit of a breakout year in 2013, fueled by a strong showing with the national team.
“For me, it’d have to be a situation where the team really wanted me and really wanted me to step in and play,” Evans said. “If that comes about, it comes about, but right now I’m focused on being here and hopefully we get something sorted out with the club. I’d be more than happy to spend another three or four years here.”
• Schmid returned to practice Friday after partial knee-replacement surgery earlier in the week and said the recovery has been going well.
• Reign FC acquired forward Jessica McDonald off waivers from the Chicago Red Stars ahead of Saturday’s 8 p.m. game between the teams. Seattle, coming off its first win of the NWSL season, released goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer to accommodate the move.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org.