Seattle Sounders midfielder Osvaldo Alonso did not practice with his teammates on Tuesday at Starfire Sports Complex, and his availability for Wednesday's one-game playoff against the L.A. Galaxy at CenturyLink Field is in serious doubt.
Seattle Sounders midfielder Osvaldo Alonso did not practice with his teammates on Tuesday at Starfire Sports Complex, and his availability for Wednesday’s one-game playoff against the L.A. Galaxy at CenturyLink Field is in serious doubt.
Alonso limped off the field after calling for a substitution during the second half of Seattle’s 3-1 victory over Real Salt Lake on Sunday in the regular-season finale.
“We wanted him to do some work inside,” said Sounders coach Sigi Schmid, who didn’t rule Alonso out of Wednesday’s match. “We’ll make the decision tomorrow.”
Alonso also missed the first leg of last season’s Western Conference finals series between the Sounders and Galaxy. Seattle lost that match at the StubHub Center 1-0, digging the hole that ultimately doomed it as L.A. advanced to MLS Cup on away goals.
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Possible replacements include Gonzalo Pineda and Andy Rose, who has worked his way back into the rotation after missing all of September with a hamstring injury.
Nelson Valdez, who has been dealing with a nagging calf issue, should be available against L.A. Schmid said Tuesday that the forward could have made a substitute appearance against RSL if necessary but was kept on the bench once the Sounders surged to their comfortable lead.
– Galaxy forward Robbie Keane should again be a major factor on Wednesday night, and Schmid provided some insight about what makes the Irish international such a threat.
“He’s one of the best foreign signings the league has made,” Schmid said. “He’s been very consistent, as Oba (Martins) has been for us. Robbie’s always looking for a little edge, a little loophole, whether that’s niggling at you or talking to you, whether that’s being aware and alert. He’s the kind of player you can’t forget about, because he’s constantly looking for that little edge.”
– If you think the short week has been disruptive from a Sounders perspective, spare a thought for L.A.
The Galaxy played in Kansas City on Sunday, pushing for what could have been a vital game-tying goal all the way until the final whistle, before chartering a flight back to Southern California that night. The team had a light session in L.A. on Monday and both traveled to and trained in Seattle on Tuesday.
The tight turnaround is what Schmid called a “double whammy” for teams that don’t earn first-round byes: Don’t only do they have to survive the elimination game in the midweek, they then have to face off against a well-rested opponent on the weekend.