Zlatan Ibrahimovic, three LA Galaxy DPs won't face Seattle Sounders
The LA Galaxy will be without star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and all three of their designated players when they travel to face the Seattle Sounders on Saturday.
Jonathan dos Santos, Giovani dos Santos and Romain Alessandrini are all nursing injuries, while LA will not risk Ibrahimovic when the teams meet on the artificial turf at CenturyLink Field (4 p.m. ET, ESPN2).
Ibrahimovic has scored 15 goals in 16 starts for the Galaxy since overcoming the major knee injury he suffered last year that led to his departure from Manchester United.
But the only appearance he has made on artificial turf in MLS came in a 20-minute stint as a substitute in Portland on June 2. He's also since skipped a game on turf in New England, the MLS All-Star Game in Atlanta and a U.S. Open Cup game in Portland.
Ibrahimovic did not accompany the team on its flight to Seattle, ruling him out of another substitute appearance after the Swede blasted his last experience on artificial turf.
"I think it's a shame to play on turf because football was not created on turf," Ibrahimovic said on Tuesday, at which point he had not yet ruled out facing the Sounders. "But so far, I only played one game on turf in Portland where I played only 10 minutes, and that was the worst turf that I ever played on. ...That says it all."
Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said after the New England game last month that Ibrahimovic would "play on turf when it's in the playoffs, but in the regular season, he's probably not going to play on the turf."
Alessandrini and Giovani dos Santos both picked up injuries in the Galaxy's 2-2 draw with Minnesota last Saturday. Schmid estimated Dos Santos would miss 2-4 weeks while Alessandrini would be out 1-2 weeks.
Jonathan dos Santos hurt his groin in the first half of Tuesday's 2-2 draw with Colorado, while starting centre-back Michael Ciani picked up a hamstring injury and will also miss the trip to Seattle.
The Galaxy are in fourth place in the Western Conference, while the Sounders are five points back in eighth -- two places out of the playoff spots, though they also have two games in hand.
Ibrahimovic, who is two goals away from reaching 500 for club and country, spoke out against the Galaxy's recent form after settling for a pair of draws at home in the space of four days, saying: "The way we play now we don't even deserve playoffs."
LA has one more game on turf remaining in the regular season at Minnesota in their second-to-last fixture on Oct. 21.