Struggling for defensive consistency since Michael Gspurning injured his hip, the Sounders hope a big part of the cure is the return of their No. 1 goalie for the 6 p.m. Saturday match in Colorado.
Sounders coach Sigi Schmid sounded optimistic after practice Thursday.
This is the game we targeted, Schmid said. Hes gone through the weeks of training now to build up. Hes gone through training all this week.
Its good to have his voice back there again, have his presence in the locker room because hes a veteran guy and a calming guy for us. If we can return to the defending we had at the beginning part of the season and the goals against, and that average we had at the beginning of the season with him in goal, thatll help us a long way to achieve our goals.
With Gspurning, who replaced Kasey Keller in goal, the Sounders began the MLS season 5-1-1 with three clean sheets and an 0.46 goals against average. After the injury, rookie Bryan Meredith came in for nine starts with a 1.20 average, and the Sounders were 3-3-4. Andrew Weber, who was injured earlier, made three starts and the Sounders were 0-1-1.
Well look at it and make sure theres no setbacks between now and then, but hes ready, said Schmid. Andrew Weber is also ready and so well have some good decisions to make in goalkeeping.