Sounders need your full 90 more than ever

Apr 29, 2011, 12:05 PM | Updated: 1:28 pm

In one week’s time the Seattle Sounders FC have lost about 60 percent of their offense. The lads in rave green can really use support from the home fans at the Xbox Pitch against Toronto FC Saturday night.

Steve Zakuani is most likely done playing this season. His fractured leg was repaired by surgeons in Denver, and he’s now getting treatment in Seattle.

Forward O’Brian White – the Sounders’ other scoring threat – was hospitalized with a blood clot in his left leg. The vascular surgery went well, but there’s no timetable for his return.

Coach Sigi Schmid, obviously dismayed by the recent events, told me in the Coach’s Corner, “It’s a difficult week for our team for what happened to Steve Zakuani, and now O’Brian White’s blood clot. We’re all like a big family, and it’s like losing two family members for a short period of time.”

Seattle has been blessed with a deep roster this season, and it will be severely tested. Schmid says several players have to step up.

“Opportunity for a guy like Alvaro Fernandez,” Schmid said. “Opportunity for Erik Friberg to come back in the lineup and play and make things happen for us. Everybody’s got to do a little bit more. Nate Jaqua playing up front and taking care of business.”

Jaqua is finally close to 100 percent, and eager to make things happen in the attack with Fredy Montero. Jaqua told me after Thursday’s practice, “I think I do a good job of holding the ball, and that allows Fredy to get into space where he can be very, very dangerous.”

There’s a chance Mauro Rosales might not be available because of an injury. Federal Way native Lamar Neagle might get some minutes.

Fortunately, the Sounders are facing a lesser opponent in Toronto FC, which is just 1-2-4 in MLS matches. Other than former Seattle defender Nathan Sturgis, the Reds’ roster is filled with lesser name guys.

“I’m trying to get their media guide,” Schmid joked, “because I don’t recognize half their players. They’ve made so many changes. (Coach) Aaron Winters is trying to implement a new system. It’s more of a possession, slower build up game. They’re having trouble scoring goals.”

Toronto traded its main man Dwayne De Rosario to the New York Red Bulls for midfielder Tony Tchani, defender Danleigh Borman and a 2010 MLS draft pick.

No one is feeling sorry for either squad. Schmid said, “hopefully we can step out there and take advantage of it. We’re at home, and can show no mercy. We want to take care of business and get three points.”

Through all their injuries the Sounders can still complete an unbeaten month of April. Schmid also believes they are on a mathematical path to the MLS post-season.

“We have a chance to get 12 points in eight games,” Schmid said. “That’s a point-and-a-half per match, and that’s what we believe it takes to get into the playoffs.”

Matt Johnson anchors the pre-game show at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Arlo White has the play-by-play at 7 p.m. on 97.3 KIRO FM.

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Sounders need your full 90 more than ever