By Don Ruiz The News Tribune
SEATTLE — The Seattle Sounders expect to be without their leading goal scorer through the end of U.S. Open Cup, the start of CONCACAF Champions League and through their next dozen or more Major League Soccer matches.
The club announced Wednesday that forward/midfielder David Estrada suffered a broken left foot in training on Tuesday. He is scheduled to undergo surgery today and expected to be out for eight to 12 weeks.
“Obviously, it’s not great news,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “He had a fifth metatarsal injury on his right leg when he was at UCLA, so he knows what that feels like; he knows what the recovery is like from that. Hopefully, everything will go well with the surgery and he’ll be back sooner rather than later. It means more playing time for some other people. Different people have to step up.”
Estrada leads the club with five goals in MLS play and has started 12 of 13 league matches.
“He’s had great impact on us this year because we’ve been able to play him at different positions,” Schmid said. “He always gives you that tremendous work rate when he’s on the field, and we’re certainly going to miss that until he gets back. We’ve got our fingers crossed that he’ll be back sooner.”
Schmid said the injury happened when Estrada was clipped from behind during practice, went down and rolled awkwardly.
His place at forward alongside Fredy Montero could be taken by Eddie Johnson or Sammy Ochoa. The midfield opening could be filled by Alex Caskey or Andy Rose.
The Sounders’ first match without Estrada comes Saturday at Montreal.
Seattle holds the longest current unbeaten road streak in MLS at 10 games.
To extend that to 11, the Sounders will have to spoil the debut of Montreal’s new Stade Saputo this weekend.
Sounders FC has provided the opposition for one other MLS stadium opening. That time the home crowd went home happy, as the Philadelphia Union christened PPL Park with a 3-1 victory on June 27, 2010.
The Sounders did better the one time they closed a stadium: beating Vancouver, 3-1, in its final match at Empire Field last season before moving into renovated BC Place.
“We don’t worry about being on the road,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said. “Eventually you’re going to play the same amount of games at home as one the road, and you have to get results. But we go into road games in a very positive mindset, and that’s something that we’ll always continue to do.
The Sounders are 7-0-3 on their current unbeaten road streak, which dates to July 30, 2011. That represents the second-longest such run in MLS history, two short of FC Dallas’ dozen in 2010.
Seattle’s chances to match and break that record will come quickly, as four of its next five MLS matches — and six of its next eight — are away from home.
Among them are three of the longest MLS trips of the season, with New England (2,489 miles) and New York (2,403) coming up after the club flies out today on its 2,287-mile journey to Montreal.
“We want to get points in MLS,” Schmid said. “Montreal, we’re going to open up their stadium, so they’re going to be pumped up and ready to go.”