EDITORS NOTE: I was at work when this was submitted. Sorry it is lste.-Neil
The lineups are in with no real surprises for either team.
Sounders (4-4-2): GK Michael Gspurning, D DeAndre Yedlin, D Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, D Djimi Traore, D Leo Gonzalez; RM Mauro Rosales, CM Servando Carrasco, CM Shalrie Joseph, LM Brad Evans; F Eddie Johnson, F Obafemi Martins
Bench: Marcus Hahnemann, Zach Scott, Marc Burch, Mario Martinez, Alex Caskey, Lamar Neagle, David Estrada
Galaxy (4-4-2): GK Carlo Cudicini, D Sean Franklin, D Omar Gonzalez, D AJ DeLaGarza, D Greg Cochrane; RM Landon Donovan, CM Marcelo Sarvas, CM Juninho, LM Michael Stephens; F Robbie Keane, F Gyasi Zardes
Bench: Brian Rowe, Leonardo, Hector Jimenez, Rafael Garcia Robbie Rogers, Jose Villarreal, Charlie Rugg
- Lamar Neagle is the only semi-surprise as he drops to the bench after three goals and an assist in the last two games.
- Osvaldo Alonso is still dealing with a groin injury sustained against Dallas and fails to make the 18
- With Shalrie Joseph, Mauro Rosales and Obafemi Martins all in the lineup, this marks the first time all three Seattle Designated Players have started together
- As expected, Robbie Rogers makes the bench for the Galaxy
- Rookie Gyasi Zardes gets the start up top next to Keane with Jose Villarreal probably featuring at some point as a sub.
Analysis: The Sounders will try to attack LA rookie left-back Greg Cochrane with the duo of Mauro Rosales and DeAndre Yedlin. Alonso’s absence in the center will definitely hurt, but Carrasco has been playing extremely well lately. Up front Martins and Johnson get only their second start together. They’ll have their work cut out for them trying to beat LA’s AJ DeLaGarza and Omar Gonzalez.
This game will be won or lost on the flanks. Seattle will have to track the movement of Landon Donovan who will start wide, but cut in and drift all around the pitch. Brad Evans’ work rate on the left should help with Donovan and protect Seattle left back Leo Gonzalez. If the Sounders can exploit Michael Stephens and Greg Cochrane and get crosses into Johnson and Martins they’ll win. Up top, Gyasi Zardes is an x-factor for the Galaxy. He’s young, but has a ton of skill and can be a game-changer.