Traore’s leg injury sparks hunt for a substitute

don.ruiz@thenewstribune.comMay 30, 2014 

Seattle Sounders’ Djimi Traore, left, tries to take a shot on goal as Toronto FC’s Doneil Henry defends in an MLS match on March 15at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. Traore’s torn adductor, injured Saturday, means the Sounders will be without his services for some time.

TED S. WARREN/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Seattle Sounders FC’s back line took a hit this week when the club learned that starting central defender Djimi Traore suffered a torn adductor in his leg Saturday at Vancouver.

“Djimi Traore is probably out for a little bit with his injury, so he won’t be available this weekend,” coach Sigi Schmid said Thursday. “... He had an MRI, (it) showed that he’s got a slight tear. We’ve got to go as it moves forward, sort of a week-to-week sort of a thing.”

Traore’s injury comes at a time when central defender Chad Marshall is recovering from a stomach illness that kept him out of the 2-2 draw with the Whitecaps last weekend, and right back DeAndre Yedlin is away with the U.S. national team.

Marshall trained Thursday. However, Schmid was noncommittal about his availability for Saturday when Real Salt Lake visits CenturyLink Field.

Earlier in the week, Schmid had listed his possible replacement options at central defense as Jalil Anibaba, Zach Scott, Brad Evans, Andy Rose and Dylan Remick.

Anibaba and Evans each saw time at center back and right back in Vancouver after Traore went down. Rose and Remick each played there Monday in an MLS Reserve League match at Real Salt Lake.

“I’m comfortable at both,” Anibaba said. ”I think it’s just a matter of shoring up the defense and helping where I can. I think either outside back or the middle is fine with me.”

Evans said he also could fill whatever role the club asked. However, he indicated he might be most likely to end up at right back, where he would fill the spot ironically left open when national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann selected Yedlin over him for the USA World Cup roster.

“If I find myself at right back I wouldn’t be surprised,” Evans said. “A little bittersweet, but it’s just versatility again sliding back there. Not 100 percent sure, but that’s what it looks like now.”

OPEN CUP KICKING OFF

The Sounders will begin 2014 U.S. Open Cup play with a home match against amateur club PSA Elite.

The game will be played at 7 p.m. June 18 at Starfire Sports Stadium in Tukwila. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday. The match will be streamed live on SoundersFC.com.

PSA Elite is a member of the United States Adult Soccer Association and is based in Irvine, California. The club advanced to the fourth round of the single-elimination tournament with a penalty kick win over LA Galaxy II of USL Pro on Wednesday.

“It was a little bit of a surprising result, obviously,” Schmid said. “But (we’re) looking forward to be able to play an Open Cup game at home. It’s been a while.”

The Sounders haven’t hosted an Open Cup match since July 11, 2012, when they defeated Chivas USA, 4-1, in the semifinal round.

The 101st U.S. Open Cup begins with 80 teams from all levels of U.S. Soccer. The Sounders won the tournament in 2009, 2010 and 2011. They made it to the final in 2012, but were knocked out in their opening match last season at Tampa Bay.

ADDED TIME

Lamar Neagle (hamstring) trained Thursday, but Schmid said his availability for Saturday is yet to be determined. ... The MLS disciplinary committee ruled Thursday that the Sounders and Whitecaps violated the league’s mass confrontation policy in the second half of their match. Both teams received only warnings because it was their first violations of the season. However, the committee levied undisclosed fines on Whitecaps midfielder Pedro Morales for contact to the head of an opponent and Sounders forward Chad Barrett for escalating the incident.

Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808 don.ruiz@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer @donruiztnt

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