Sounders could learn Johnson’s status for playoffs today

SOUNDERS FC: No word yet on what team learned from Monday’s MRI exam on its scoring leader

don.ruiz@thenewstribune.comOctober 30, 2012 

Eddie Johnson, the goal-scoring leader for Seattle Sounders FC this season, was scheduled to undergo a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam Monday, but the club made no announcement regarding its results.

Clarification on his status for the Friday night playoff opener against Real Salt Lake could come today when the Sounders return to training.

Johnson suffered an apparent hamstring injury just before halftime of the Sounders’ regular-season-ending 1-0 defeat at Los Angeles on Sunday.

After the game, Johnson and Sounders coach Sigi Schmid had no clear evaluation of the injury.

Schmid said defender Jeff Parke had been subbed off as “just a precaution.” But regarding Johnson, Schmid said more time would be needed to see “exactly where he stands.”

In the locker room, Johnson discussed the injury further.

“I made a couple of long runs early in the game and (the) hammy kind of tightened up on me,” Johnson said. “My game requires making hard runs behind the back four. I tried to set the defender up, like I was going to come to the ball and check to the right. I felt a big cramp in my hamstring. I know what that feels like, so I was smart. I came out, I didn’t try to force it. But there’s definitely something there.

“If I tried to play, I would have been restricted. The smart thing for me to do, what is best for the team, was for me to come out.”

Later, he added on Twitter: “I can only pray that it’s not too bad. But we have a strong team with or without me.”

Meanwhile, details about the Major League Soccer postseason emerged:

 • The MLS postseason starts at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday with a single-elimination game between Chicago and Houston in Chicago.

 • The Sounders and Real Salt Lake will meet at 7 p.m. Friday at CenturyLink Field and at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 8 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.

 • The Friday match will be shown locally on KONG 6/16, regionally on Root, and nationally on NBCSN. The match can be heard on 97.3-FM with a Spanish broadcast available on 99.3-FM.

 • Tickets went on sale Monday. Only lower-bowl seating is still available.

 • “Obviously we need to win at home and we need to get something on the road,” Schmid said. “… (We have to) see what players are available to us. Salt Lake have some guys with injuries as well. We are going to put out 11 players, they will put out 11 players, and they will decide it on the field.”

ADDED TIME

The Northwest Soccer Legends indoor soccer match at the Tacoma Soccer Center has been moved to Nov. 9 to avoid conflict with the Sounders’ playoff opener. Details at www.soundersu23.com. … New York forward Kenny Cooper was named MLS player of the week after scoring twice in the Red Bulls’ 3-0 season-ending victory Saturday over Philadelphia.

Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808 don.ruiz@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer @donruiztnt

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