Brian Schmetzer says Roldan will “probably” feature against FC Cincinnati.
Cristian Roldan could return from groin surgery a little ahead of schedule.
“There’s a little bit of hope on the horizon,” Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer told KJR on Tuesday. “He’s probably going to see some time against FC Cincinnati.”
If Roldan were to play against FC Cincinnati on Sept. 27 — as close to a literal must-win game the Sounders have played this regular-season — that would be a game earlier than had originally been planned. Roldan has missed the Sounders’ last six games — in which they’ve gone 2-3-1 — since being diagnosed with an athletic pubalgia injury. Schmetzer previously suggested Roldan had been dealing with discomfort for some time before the formal diagnosis.
Roldan started off 2022 in some of his best-ever form. He led Concacaf Champions League with five assists while adding a goal. In MLS play, he had three goals and five assists in his first 15 matches but has scored just one goal in eight appearances since then.
If Roldan can return to anything close to his early-season form, that would potentially be a boon for the Sounders, who will be quite short-handed against FC Cincinnati. Jordan Morris (United States), Xavier Arreaga (Ecuador), Nouhou (Cameroon) and Nicolas Lodeiro (yellow-card suspension) are all out for that match. Alex Roldán (El Salvador) and Raúl Ruidíaz (Peru) are still questionable, as Schmetzer said the Sounders are working with the respective federations on a possible early release. Albert Rusnák was apparently not called into Slovakia for their UEFA Nations League matches.
All of this is playing out while Roldan is also trying to make a final push for the United States’ World Cup roster, something that was dealt a bit of a blow after injury kept him out of this current training camp.