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Injuries Force Sounders to Test Depth, May 21st, 2009 3:15PM



Victimized by a sudden rash of injuries and facing three games in eight days, Seattle Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid will look for support from his reserves. Three key players -- Freddie Ljungberg, Brad Evans and Zach Scott -- look likely to miss some time, although just how much time remains to be seen.

Ljungberg left practice early on Wednesday due to a severe migraine headache, which came on Friday morning and forced him to miss the flight to Dallas. Evans suffered three injuries in his mid-air collision with FC Dallas goalkeeper Ray Burse in last Saturday's 1-1 draw - a sprained ankle, a pulled calf and a bruised tibia near the knee. Scott has been ruled out for this weekend's contest, although the club is unsure of the nature of the back's injury. It could be a simple abdominal strain or a more troublesome hernia.

Schmid will rely on reserve players like midfielder Pete Vagenas, who played 90 minutes in Seattle's reserve match last weekend and could replace Ljungberg. Additionally, James Riley will return from suspension while fellow defender Nathan Sturgis is back in training. Schmid maintained that no matter who is missing from the lineup he will focus on the players he has to do the job. "We can have post-mortems and talk about all the guys who are missing all the time," Schmid said, "but then it takes away the focus from what we're trying to do which is prepare for the game."

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