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Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - Page updated at 08:00 p.m.

Sounders, Earthquakes will be missing key players in game at San Jose

By Joshua Mayers
Seattle Times staff reporter

Sounders FC's game Saturday at San Jose will feature teams trying to figure out who is available on their rosters.

Both sides have taken hits recently with international call-ups and injuries.

Seattle will be without a trio of stars due to national team duty for upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers — forwards Eddie Johnson (U.S.) and Obafemi Martins (Nigeria), and midfielder Mario Martinez (Honduras).

Coach Sigi Schmid, after the weekend's 1-1 tie against Portland, called the absences "frustrating."

"We need some time right now to train together," he said. "Hopefully once we get all them back we can implement that. But we still have the rest of the guys here, so we can get that nucleus to play and the cohesion within that group a little bit better right now."

The Sounders also have injuries to several key players, including midfielders Brad Evans and Shalrie Joseph (calf strains), as well as defenders Adam Johansson (knee sprain) and Patrick Ianni (foot fracture).

The Earthquakes, who earned the league's best record in 2012, will be without defenders Victor Bernardez (Honduras) and Justin Morrow (U.S.) due to national team duty.

San Jose also is dealing with injuries to midfielder Marvin Chavez (knee sprain), defender Steven Beitashour (sports hernia), and forwards Steven Lenhart (knee surgery), Alan Gordon (foot surgery), and ex-Sounder Mike Fucito (hamstring strain).

Sounders receive

SBA nomination

Sounders FC was one of four teams nominated for Team of the Year by the SportsBusiness Journal for the 2013 Sports Business Awards.

The other finalists are the Oklahoma City Thunder (NBA), San Francisco 49ers (NFL) and Washington Nationals (MLB).

The Sounders won the award in 2010 after a groundbreaking inaugural year in MLS. This year's winner will be chosen May 22 in New York.

Notes

• The Sounders lost their first MLS Reserve League game, 1-0, to the Timbers on Sunday. Among the players on Seattle's bench was Eastside Catholic graduate Fernando Monge, who was drafted in January and released from camp by the Montreal Impact.

• Tickets for Sounders FC's April 2 home leg of a CONCACAF Champions League semifinal against Mexico's Santos Laguna went on sale Monday.

• Reign FC lost its first of three exhibitions during a preseason trip to Japan, 2-0, against INAC Kobe Leonessa on Saturday. Seattle's home uniforms for the upcoming NWSL season can be seen at Facebook.com/ReignFC.

Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or jmayers@seattletimes.com.

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