David Estrada, Zach Scott accept reserve roles with Sounders FC
No bitterness over not starting from David Estrada and Zach Scott, though they were key contributors to Sounders FC's 3-1-1 start.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Sounders FC @ Chicago, 5:30 p.m., KONG
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TUKWILA — There were two Sounders of note who played in Monday's reserve game against Chivas USA.
Forward/midfielder David Estrada, the team's leading scorer.
And defender Zach Scott, a steady veteran who's coming off one of his best games — and his first career MLS goal.
With Seattle affected by injuries early this season, Estrada and Scott have filled in and been two of the team's most reliable players in a franchise-best 3-1-1 start. But as the Sounders slowly get healthier, and starters get set to reclaim their places, both are prepared for reduced roles in the near future.
Disgruntled? Not these guys.
"Whenever I get a chance to play, trust me, I'm more than happy to do it, even if it's a reserve game," said Estrada, who has four of the team's six goals this season.
Said Scott, "It's kind of more what I expected this year in terms of where I was going to find most of my time. Obviously things worked out the way that they did the beginning of the season, and I got those games under my belt, but I knew ... things might change."
Monday's reserve game actually benefited both.
While the returns of forward Eddie Johnson and right midfielder Mauro Rosales have displaced Estrada in those positions, there could be an opening at left midfielder this week with Alvaro Fernandez out with a thigh injury. Estrada played about 60 minutes as a left midfielder with the reserves and is the favorite to start there Saturday against the Chicago Fire.
"I was excited to try and work on things I could implement in the game," said Estrada, who had two shots off the post. "Playing Monday helped me stay sharp in case I'm starting against Chicago."
Scott, who will be replaced at right back by the returning Adam Johansson, was also thankful to get a game to keep in a playing rhythm. Called the most improved player over Sounders FC's four seasons by coach Sigi Schmid, Scott knows he'll play somewhere during the long season.
That could come as soon as Wednesday, according to Schmid, because as Johansson returns from a hamstring strain, he's unlikely to play all five games in a busy 15-day stretch.
"I just don't want the team to miss a beat," said Scott, who scored the winner in Seattle's last game against Colorado. "If we're keeping goals out and we're getting wins, that's all that matters to me."
Schmid trusts backup Meredith, if needed
Goalkeeper Michael Gspurning is expected to be available Saturday after being limited in practice the past few days after an illness led to some soreness in his hip area.
So how does Schmid feel about backup Bryan Meredith if he's needed?
"My faith in Meredith is fantastic," the coach said. "The reason we brought him back into our team last year ... is because we think he's a quality goalkeeper. That's the reason we drafted him."
"I think if Bryan Meredith was on a different team, he could be starting in this league."
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter @joshuamayers