TUKWILA — The soccer buzz in Seattle is finally back to normal, it seems.
The city is coming off one of its most exhilarating weeks in the sport, starting with Sounders FC’s thrilling comeback win against rival Vancouver on June 8 and finishing with the U.S. men’s national team’s victorious World Cup qualifier against Panama on June 11.
A combined 94,526 fans were at CenturyLink Field for the two spectacles.
But now it is back to regular MLS action for the Sounders, who took four days off because of a bye over the weekend. Rested and refreshed, the team returned to practice Monday in preparation for Saturday’s road game against Real Salt Lake.
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“It was good for them to get a break just to get away, spend some time with their family or do whatever they want to do,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “It was good for them to get away physically and mentally.”
Of course, not everyone got away.
A trio of Sounders are still on national team duty, Eddie Johnson and Brad Evans for the U.S. and Mario Martinez for Honduras. The two countries will meet in another big qualifier Tuesday at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.
All three Sounders will return to Seattle on Wednesday despite already being at the location of Saturday’s game.
“Otherwise they’re in Salt Lake all day Wednesday, Thursday, Friday until we get there, and they wouldn’t be able to train,” Schmid explained.
Forward Obafemi Martins is expected to rejoin practice Tuesday after getting an extended vacation. The designated player was granted a longer break since he has been playing since September (previously with Spain’s Levante UD before signing with the Sounders in March).
• The status of midfielder Osvaldo Alonso (thigh) is uncertain for Saturday’s game. Schmid noted the Sounders don’t play again after that until July 3, which will allow the team to be cautious. “If he’s not ready,” the coach said, “it definitely in our minds says, ‘Let’s not push it. Let’s not be silly.’ ”
• Defender DeAndre Yedlin and the U.S. under-20 national team play their first group game in the FIFA U-20 World Cup on Friday against Spain. Yedlin isn’t expected back in Seattle until July.
• On-loan forward Eriq Zavaleta played 90 minutes Saturday for the San Antonio Scorpions of the second-division NASL. The rookie will rejoin the Sounders on Sunday.
• Steve Zakuani is recovering as expected from last week’s sports hernia surgery, Schmid said. The midfielder will need six to eight weeks of rehab and won’t be eligible to return until an Aug. 3 home game against FC Dallas.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @joshuamayers.