The Los Angeles Galaxy had a welcome sight at training on Tuesday.
Goalkeeper Josh Saunders was back in uniform and on the training field despite still being ineligible to play games for the club. Saunders said he was enrolled in the league's substance abuse and behavior health program for stress reasons — not drugs and alcohol, according to ESPN LA — and he shed a bit of light on his situation.
"I was under some stress. I was putting myself under a lot of pressure. I just needed to step away," Saunders told reporters. "There were, obviously, a lot of stories floating around. It's unfortunate that people were taking it and blowing it out of proportion before they got a chance to talk to me.
"I was under some stress, had some family issues, wanted to deal with them on my own. We're humans. We have a life outside of soccer, and people forget that. I'm just happy to be in the state that I'm in now."
For Saunders, who was cleared to join the Galaxy for their trip to the White House last week, there is no definite timetable for his return, which is contingent on his completion of the program. Brian Perk and Bill Gaudette have split the goalkeeping duties in his absence.
Here are a couple of more items from around MLS:
JAKOVIC LATE ADDITION FOR CANADA
For the Canadian national team, one game back for Dejan Jakovic is good enough.
The D.C. United centerback was a late addition to the Canada roster for an upcoming friendly and World Cup qualifiers after returning to action following an ankle injury layoff against Toronto FC Saturday night.
Jakovic joins teammate Dwayne De Rosario, Houston's Andre Hainault, Toronto's Julian de Guzman and Ashtone Morgan, Real Salt Lake's Will Johnson and Chivas USA's Ante Jazic as MLS players on Canada's roster for a friendly against the United States and qualifiers against Cuba and Honduras.
RICKETTS GETS JAMAICA CALL
Donovan Ricketts will find himself in familiar territory in a couple of weeks: In between the posts for the Jamaican national team.
The Montreal Impact goalkeeper will suit up for a pair of friendlies against Panama before World Cup qualifiers against Guatemala and Antigua and Barbuda. Jamaica is in the United States' group for World Cup qualifying but won't play the Americans until consecutive matches Sept. 7 and 11, the latter of which will be played at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.