Sounders vs. Monterrey
The lineup we expect to see the Sounders roll out today should be as strong as they are capable of putting out there. The notable players we expect to see on the bench will be Steve Zakuani and Patrick Ianni (who seem to be still getting back to full health). With Tyrone Marshall also unavailable because of yellow card accumulation, we expect Taylor Graham to get the start at centerback alongside Jeff Parke.
In Zakuani's place, we expect to see Sanna Nyassi and Alvaro Fernandez as the starting wide midfielders. Osvaldo Alonso and Nathan Sturgis seem pretty entrenched as the center mids right now and it would seem to make sense for Blaise Nkufo and Fredy Montero to get the nod as the forwards since both have had about six days to recover from their last match.
We do expect Monterrey to sit some of their regulars, most notably Chilean striker Humberto Suazo. Other starters we expect to sit are Walter Ayovi, captain Luis Perez, and defenders Jose Maria Basanta and Ricardo Osorio.
Word is Monterrey plays what is nominally a 4-3-3, but it's very fluid and features four players that could be classified as strikers. They also play an open style that could allow for a more fluid match than we often see at Qwest Field.
Sounders officials have said about 19,000 tickets were sold as of last night and a sizable walkup crowd is expected. I won't be surprised to see close to 25,000 in attendance, which would make this one of the highest attended matches in CCL Group Stage history. If you are planning to buy tickets at the match, I'd suggest getting them a little before kickoff as even the Metapan walkup crowd created quite a logjam.
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