Seattle has efficiently built depth in most positions; center back was perhaps the only position where manager Sigi Schmid could scarcely afford a key injury.
So, wouldn’t you know it!
Seattle Sounders center back Patrick Ianni left Seattle’s practice Monday on crutches, wearing a protective boot over his left foot. And wait for the real kick in the head here:
The veteran defender was injured during a jump test, performed routinely as part of a fitness assessment in most professional sports.
Said manager Sigi Schmid:
That’s a first. That’s a history maker. I don’t know how anybody injures himself on the jump test, but he did. Landed funny, I guess. So we’ve just got to wait and see what the MRI says.
Meanwhile, we’ll tell you in two words what this means to Seattle’s plans going about month out of its 2013 MLS opener: not good.
Ianni and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado are the team’s only experienced center backs on Seattle’s roster. There was Jeff Parke, of course, but he went to Philadelphia in a December trade, leaving utility defender Zach Scott as “next man up,” in the central defensive rotation.
Clearly, Seattle management and supporters will keep fingers crossed that this isn’t a long-term injury.
Funny thing is (not funny “ha-ha,” clearly), this is the second consecutive year a player in the MLS Pacific Northwest was undone by a freak preseason injury. Remember last year that Darren Mattocks’ preseason for Vancouver was shortened by burns suffered in a kitchen fire.