Desperate for good news, Sounders FC got some Wednesday.
An independent review panel has rescinded a red card issued to Seattle midfielder Osvaldo Alonso in last week’s 1-0 road loss to San Jose. Alonso, recently returned from a thigh strain, won’t be fined or suspended for Saturday’s home game against the Colorado Rapids — a huge boost to the injury-depleted Sounders.
The red card came in second-half stoppage time against the Earthquakes for what referee Sorin Stoica told a pool reporter was “violent conduct” involving “contact above the shoulder” in a scuffle with San Jose’s Dan Gargan.
Replays showed contact was minimal, and the Sounders subsequently submitted an appeal. The review panel determined the contact “did not reach the required threshold for violent conduct, i.e. brutal or excessive force,” according to a news release from MLS.
This was Seattle’s second successful appeal of a red card this season. The other came last month after forward Obafemi Martins was ejected in a June 1 game at Chivas USA.
MLS instituted red-card reviews last season.
Seattle short in goal
To call Sounders FC‘s goalkeeping situation a nightmare is only part hyperbole.
The team’s top three goalkeepers ( Michael Gspurning, Marcus Hahnemann, Josh Ford) are out injured, and the only one healthy and under contract ( Andrew Weber) was acquired just last week on loan from third-division Phoenix FC.
Gspurning, an MLS Goalkeeper of the Year finalist last season, had his forearm in a splint at Tuesday’s practice after getting stepped on in San Jose over the weekend.
Regular backups Hahnemann (hamstring) and Ford (knee surgery) are out, too, leaving Weber in line to start against Colorado. Doug Herrick is set to serve as backup as an MLS pool goalkeeper reserved for emergency situations.
U.S. calls on Johnson
Forward Eddie Johnson has been called in by the U.S. national team for the CONCACAF Gold Cup knockout rounds and could be gone through the July 28 final. The U.S. plays El Salvador at 10 a.m. Sunday in the quarterfinals.