NOTE: In case you're new to the site, and judging from our traffic numbers during the off-season there are quite a few of you who are, one of the things we really enjoyed doing last year was something we called Match Day Quick Reference Cards. What you see above is the one for tonight's MLS First Kick match between the Seattle Sounders and LA Galaxy, which is mainly used to give our starting lineup projections. As you can see, it's evolved a bit from last year's. Part of that is by design, part of that is not. You can expect to see some of the team stats return once we have some to share, but the right rail where the attendance, standings and power poll resides has been eliminated because those will all be standard features on the site and it seems a bit redundant. We're also considering the way we do the benches. Rather than try to predict the 18, we'd like to have a full roster of players we think could see action. As always, we appreciate the feedback.
Word has just come out that both Juan Pablo Angel and Omar Gonzalez will not be starting tonight for the LA Galaxy. That caused us to make some last-minute changes, namely moving Landon Donovan to forward, bringing in Michael Stephens to LM, moving AJ De La Garza to CB and sliding Todd Dunivant into the LB position. There's also the possibility that Donovan Ricketts will sit, which would cause Josh Saunders to start.
On the Sounders' side, we just don't think Sigi is going to risk starting Brad Evans or Steve Zakuani, especially on a potentially wet turf. We ran a poll with new fewer than 10 options the other day, and all but three options received more than 20 votes. Suffice it to say, your guess is as good as ours on this one, but we're going with Lamar Neagle starting at RM, Alvaro Fernandez moving to LM and Erik Friberg getting the start in the middle. We feel like that possibility, but honestly wouldn't be shocked with any number of the other choices.
One small note we forgot to add to the match card, Alex Prus will be tonight's referee. He'll be joined by Greg Barkey, Paul Scott and Mark Kadlecik.
As always, here's a printable version of the match card: Sounders Vs. Galaxy