SEATTLE — Frustrating as Sounders FC’s season has been, coach Sigi Schmid has felt a slight turn over the last month or so.
And while Seattle is still in last place amid its worst-ever MLS start, the team — perhaps surprisingly — will go into Wednesday’s road game against Sporting Kansas City undefeated in 36 days.
“As I told the team, in our last four games, we haven’t lost,” Schmid said Monday during a conference call, referencing the team’s 1-0-3 run that includes a CONCACAF Champions League game against Mexico’s Santos Laguna.
“And three of those four have been on the road. When you look at it like that, I think we’re starting to catch ourselves.”
The short-handed Sounders, depleted by injuries and suspensions, also got some good news in the form of reinforcements for the midweek game. Midfielder Osvaldo Alonso rejoined the group after the birth of his second child Friday, and defender Marc Burch is back from a groin injury.
The boost was tempered, though, by the continued absence of forward Obafemi Martins (knee), and midfielders Shalrie Joseph (hamstring) and Steve Zakuani (groin).
“We want to get Martins to a stage when he returns, he’s able to return and stay,” Schmid said. “We don’t want to push him out there for a game and then lose him again for two or three. ... I want to get him out there and keep him out there.”
One player who stepped up last game was captain Mauro Rosales, who had a goal and assist in Saturday’s 2-2 draw in Philadelphia. It was the first time in 38 games the designated player had one of each.
Schmid called it Rosales’ best game of the season.
“Mauro worked very hard on his fitness in the week break that we had,” Schmid added, “and I think that helped him. ... Overall, I thought Mauro’s game was definitely much closer to what we expect from Mauro every time he’s out there.”
Salaries for 2013 released
Player salaries for the 2013 MLS season were released by the players’ union Monday. Sounders FC’s payroll ranks third in the league, behind New York and Los Angeles, boosted by the designated-player signing of Martins.
The Nigerian international is set to make $1.725 million this year, making him the highest-paid player in team history. Freddie Ljungberg (2009-10) held that mark previously at about $1.3 million.
Notable salaries for other Seattle newcomers include: Djimi Traore ($120,000), Joseph ($599,333.33, a DP whose has some of his salary paid by Chivas USA), Eriq Zavaleta ($95,600, a Generation Adidas signing) and DeAndre Yedlin ($53,500, a homegrown signing).
No Sounders took a pay cut from last season.