Sounders FC forward David Estrada, one of the surprise breakout players in Major League Soccer this season, will miss 8-12 weeks after breaking his left foot in training Monday, a team spokesman announced. Estrada, whose five goals lead the team, will have surgery Wednesday.
Coming into the season, Estrada had made little impact in his first two seasons in Seattle after joining the team as a first-round pick in 2010. Estrada made his way into the starting lineup at the beginning of the season because of his improved play, and also an injury to newly acquired forward Eddie Johnson, and he made the most of his opportunity. Estrada scored three goals in Seattle’s season opening win over Toronto, earning MLS Player of the Week honors, then added another goal the following week in a win over Houston.
The return of Johnson meant a different role for Estrada, but he continued to see significant playing time as a midfielder and also as a froward who could spell Johnson or Fredy Montero as Seattle played a busy schedule in May. Estrada’s absence will likely mean a bigger role for forward Sammy Ochoa, who has seen very little playing time in league play—largely because of Estrada’s emergence—but did score two goals in a recent US Open Cup win over Atlanta.