Injuries wearing down Sounders roster
Week after week, the Sounders FC list on the league's injury report has been one of the longest. Seattle is also one of the few teams left in Major League Soccer that plays on an artificial turf at Qwest Field.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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TUKWILA — Week after week, the Sounders FC list on the league's injury report has been one of the longest. Seattle is also one of the few teams left in Major League Soccer that plays on an artificial turf at Qwest Field.
Coincidence? Possibly, but coach Sigi Schmid said the start of the NFL season has only worsened the playing conditions at the team's shared stadium with the Seattle Seahawks.
"When turf is new and the blades stand up, it's OK," Schmid said. "When it gets a little more matted down, which is maybe the situation at Qwest now a little bit, we really have to look at (replacing) that turf a little bit earlier than normal because of the additional wear and tear that's been put on it by having a soccer team and a football team."
The wear and tear has also been evident on the Sounders FC roster. Last week in a particularly concerning training session, defender James Riley and midfielder Mike Seamon went down with injuries.
Seamon was fine, but Riley sprained his ankle and was added to Qwest Field's list of victims that has included: Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (ACL), Mike Fucito (knee), Osvaldo Alonso (quad) and Pete Vagenas (quad) among others.
Nearly every player on the roster has dealt with injuries over the past two seasons. How much the turf is to blame can't be easily determined, but general manager Adrian Hanauer said he's been in constant communication with Vulcan Sports & Entertainment and the Seahawks in regards to the turf condition and potential replacement.
Economics are not an issue, Hanauer said, and installing grass remains an option as well, despite popular belief.
"It's a continuing evolution and conversation," Hanauer said. "There's no doubt that the soccer guys optimally would prefer a perfect grass pitch. Again I don't have enough information but my hunch is the football guys would prefer a perfect grass field, but there are just some realities to what we're dealing with and how we make it the best for everyone."
Last roster moves
The league-wide roster freeze was Wednesday afternoon, which finalized teams' 24-man rosters until the end of the MLS Cup. Sounders FC placed Pat Noonan on the disabled list with an adductor strain and took versatile midfielder Brad Evans off the DL, making him eligible to play Oct. 2.
"We're taking a little bit of a gamble because he (Evans) is probably I would say a month away, at least (from playing)," Schmid said.
Noonan, Hurtado and Vagenas will remain on the DL through season's end, thus ineligible in MLS, but could play in the U.S. Open Cup final or the CONCACAF Champions League.
• MLS announced Tuesday that next year's league schedule will increase from 30 games to 34 upon the arrival of expansion franchises Vancouver and Portland.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or email@example.com
When vice president of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper isn't running things at the office, she's working in her garden at her West Seattle home where she and her husband Brian spend time relaxing.