Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By MIKE DONOVAN
While every MLS team has dealt with injuries throughout the season, it would be hard pressed to find a club other than the Seattle Sounders that has had three injured goalkeepers at the same time this season.
The predicament has left the Sounders with just one healthy goalkeeper on their roster in Andrew Weber, and he was acquired last week in a loan from USL-Pro team, Phoenix FC.
Starting goalkeeper, Michael Gspurning, was injured in the Sounders’s 1-0 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes over the weekend and wore a splint on his forearm at practice Tuesday. He joins backups Marcus Hahnemann and Josh Ford on the injured list.
The club will be forced to call in MLS pool goalkeeper and Seattle native Doug Herrick if one of the three injured keepers can’t return in time for Saturday’s home match against Colorado.
“It’s difficult, to be honest with you,” goalkeeper coach Tom Dutra told the Seattle Times. “It’s a very difficult time; it’s one that has kept me up the last couple nights.”
Here are some more news and notes from around the Western Conference heading into MLS Week 21 action:
After two months of international duty with the Mexican U-20 national team, Julio Morales has returned to Chivas USA and is preparing for the second half of the season. Morales is returning to a different coach after Jose Luis Real replaced the fired Jose Luis Sanchez Sola on May 29.
Morales, who is on loan from Chivas Guadalajara, is familiar with Real due to Real’s work with Guadalajara’s youth teams. For the season, the 19-year-old has yet to log a goal or assist in his seven appearances for the Goats.
On Monday, the Rapids were joined in training by trialist Jaime Vides, a former defender for the Guatemalan national team. It is the defender’s second trial with a MLS club this month after a stint with DC United last week.
Vides joins an already crowded list of trialists and guest players for Colorado. Conor Doyle, an American who is under contract with Derby County, and a pair of Deportivo Cali youth products, Manuel Izasa and Yoximar Granado Mosquera, are also currently training with the Rapids.
After missing the last four games with a hamstring strain, defender George John is looking to make his return when FC Dallas takes on the Montreal Impact Saturday in Canada. With the club currently in a seven-game winless streak, John’s return could shore up a backline that has given up multiple goals in four of its last five matches.
In addition to missing the last four matches, John missed three earlier this year due to his hamstring. FC Dallas has won just once this season when John hasn’t been in the lineup.
Tuesday marked the first match for the LA Galaxy’s U-23 team. The club defeated English side Shenfield, 4-0 and will continue to play through the end of the summer.
The U-23s will not be part of any league and have players in age from 15 to 21. The majority of the players are either academy players or potential homegrown candidates who are currently in college.
After an illness cut his Gold Cup duties with Canada short, Will Johnson returned to Timbers practice Tuesday. The Timber captain missed the last two Portland games and is expected to start Saturday when the club plays at the Philadelphia Union. The potential MVP candidate is currently tied for the team lead with six goals and has added three assists.
REAL SALT LAKE
Backup goalkeeper Josh Saunders has been sidelined with a torn ACL that he suffered in RSL’s 3-0 victory over FC Dallas on Saturday night. With Nick Rimando competing in the Gold Cup, the club will turn to Jeff Attinella to start in goal until Rimando returns.
Saunders was signed in the offseason after helping the LA Galaxy win consecutive MLS Cups in 2011 and 2012. The 31-year-old made three starts for RSL this season.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
The Earthquakes reserve team dominated USL Pro side, Antigua Barracuda FC, 6-0 Monday at Kezar Stadium. Adam Jahn led the way with two goals as the reserves had little trouble with a club that is 0-20-0 in their USL Pro season.
After starting their season with three straight losses, the San Jose reserves have won the their last three matches. Next up for the team is a match against the Portland Timbers reserve squad on July 28. It was the tenth time this season Antigua has given up four or more goals in a match and their next match is against the FC Dallas reserves on July 23.
Two foreign-born Vancouver Whitecaps, Gershon Koffie and Camilo, have expressed interest in playing for the Canadian national team. The Ghanaian-born Koffie and Brazilian Camilo would likely have to wait until 2015 and 2016, respectively, before being eligible under FIFA guidelines to compete for Canada.
Both players could provide a major lift for a Canadian side that has only qualified for the World Cup once, in 1986. Camilo is in the midst of his best season since joining the Caps in 2011 and currently leads MLS in goals with 12.
What do you think of these reports? Do you see the goalkeeping injuries hurting the Sounders down the road? Excited to see George John back on the field? Do you see Camilo and Koffie playing for Canada in the future?
Share your thoughts below.