All eyes and ears around the rave green crowd will be focused on Eddie Johnson’s hamstring today.
The Seattle Sounders leading scorer (14 goals) came off the field in the first half last night with a strained hamstring. Team officials will have a better diagnosis and prognosis following an MRI today. (Whether they will share it with us with 100 percent transparency, who knows?)
Here’s what Johnson said about it last night via the Seattle Times:
I made a couple long runs early in the game and my hammy kind of tightened up on me. My game is (made up) of making hard runs behind the back four, and there was a play where I tried to set the defender up like I was going to come for the ball and check away, and I felt a big cramp in my hamstring.
“I know what that feeling feels like. I was smart. I came out. I didn’t try to force it, but there’s definitely something there. If I had played, I’d have been restricted. The smart thing was for me to do what’s best for the team and come out. We’ll get an MRI on Monday and see what’s going on.”
This will not be devastating news for Seattle, but it’s certainly bad news. The West field is tough. Real Salt Lake is up first, and then a date with the Galaxy in all likelihood.
Fredy Montero is playing well, so the goal-scoring cupboard is hardly bare. But no one who would replace Johnson as the Sounders most advanced striker comes close to offering what the U.S. international and MLS All-Star does, solidly-timed runs into the penalty area and the athletic ability to deliver once he accesses those areas.
There is also concern about center back Jeff Parke, who also left last night’s match, although there is more cover there.