TUKWILA — Sounders FC defender Nouhou will be out for the club’s MLS postseason opener Tuesday due to health and safety protocols. The term is a catchall for reasons such as needing to quarantine due to high-risk behavior related to COVID-19 to contracting the virus or other illnesses.
Nouhou was on international duty with his Cameroon national team for World Cup qualifying matches earlier this month. He appeared to suffer a shoulder injury in the second of two matches but texted Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer en route to returning to the club that he was fine.
The converted center back started the season strong in the new position and was voted to his first MLS All-Star game. But he suffered an adductor injury during a previous international call-up and hasn’t been as consistent along the back line for the Sounders.
No. 2 seed Seattle hosts No. 7 seed Real Salt Lake at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Lumen Field for the playoff opener. The winner advances to play No. 3 seed Sporting Kansas City in a Western conference semifinal match on Nov. 28.
First-year Sounder AB Cissoko has replaced Nouhou in the past. Schmetzer could also shift his back line to call on veteran center back Shane O’Neill to fill the gap.
The Sounders will have a healthy Xavier Arreaga. The center back left a call-up early for his Ecuador national team due to an apparent injury but participated in full training Sunday at Starfire Sports in Tukwila.
Rave Green co-captain Nico Lodeiro was also able to join his team for portions of training. He’s missed most of the season due to two knee surgeries. Schmetzer is expected to have the central midfielder listed as part of the game-day roster against RSL.
Sounders wingback Jimmy Medranda had a setback with his hamstring injury and is questionable for Tuesday’s game. Forward Jordan Morris, who returned from an ACL tear, could play extended minutes against RSL.