Sounders' Nelson Valdez benched again at start; Coach Sigi Schmid cites fitness reasons - The Seattle Times

Sounders forward Nelson Valdez isnt injured, at least according to coach Sigi Schmid, having fully recovered from the nagging calf problem hed struggled with earlier this season.

The 32-year-old played in only one of Paraguays Copa America Centenario matches, so he should be relatively well rested, too though Schmid did say afterward that fitness is part of the issue.

Whatever the explanation, Seattles second-highest-paid player was again relegated to the bench for Saturdays 2-0 home loss to New York City FC, coming on only as a second-half substitute.

Hes still working his way in terms of fitness, Schmid said afterward. They really didnt train much with Paraguay. We wanted to keep (Jordan) Morris inside. I dont think playing wide for him is the best, so when we put him in, we put him inside.

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Valdez hasnt started a match since April 2, and if he wasnt able to crack the starting 11 under these circumstances, its unclear whether hell ever break back in.

Clint Dempsey is still away on national-team duty, and the summer reinforcements the front office has promised havent yet arrived. Competition for spots isnt going to get much more tepid than it is right now.

If Valdez cant play out wide, that leaves only a single potential forward role in Seattles 4-3-3 formation. Even if hes more comfortable in the middle, the preferred option right now on the left is Joevin Jones, who the team considered more of a defender when they traded for him this January.

Valdez replaced Dylan Remick in the 57th minute and pushed Jones back into defense. Valdez threw himself at crosses and hustled back to help out in defense. He stuck a leg out and redirected Andreas Ivanschitzs free kick into the side netting close, but again not quite enough.

He cut a figure of despair, wrenching his head back after misses, driving frustrated fists into the turf.

Valdez has a proven international pedigree and is a tirelessly hard worker. In another universe less beset by leg injuries, maybe hed have made a better fit. He has tallied just twogoals and one assist since signing from Germanys Eintracht Frankfurt last summer, though, noneof which happened this season.

His contract lasts only through the end of this season, and at this rate he might not be wearing rave green for even that long.

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    seks telefon (Tuesday, 17 January 2017 04:55)


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    wróżka (Saturday, 21 January 2017 16:30)