Projecting a return of Leo Gonzalez to the Sounders starting lineup addressing the multi-point attack of D.C. United. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE
Projecting a lineup for Seattle Sounders FC continues to be difficult. With so many players injured, but not out the guesswork is a bit more complex than typical. For D.C. United our friends over at Black and Red United have it a bit easier as there team was successful and fairly steady with the only absence from last week's win being Brandon McDonald. One of the intriguing things about United is that they have a DP (Branko Baskovic) on the bench, and that looks unlikely to change in the near future.
We see the most changes along the backline. Patrick Ianni and Jeff Parke are fully fit, did a fine job against San Jose and that gives Jhon Kennedy Hurtado the ability to rest and heal a bit more. Out at left back we actually see a change, not because Marc Burch was horrid, but because against United a slightly more defensive players is needed. After Tuesday's practice Leo Gonzalez spoke through a translator about defending DC.
Going into a game I visualize the other players or team and what kind of tactics they use. In this case a player like Andy Najar, who is a very fast player, I try to visualize how he might play and how I might defend.
Gonzalez also notes that the team wants him to focus on how he will defend first and "if I have the opportunity to very intentionally make three or four attacking plays that are well-timed and have a positive effect on the game than they'd [the coaches] like me to do that as well."
While Mauro Rosales and Eddie Johnson traveled a best case scenario is that they are available off the bench to help if the team needs to go after another goal. The projection is that Seattle starts Christian Sivebaek to contribute a bit to offense while the nearly flat four of Gonzalez, Ianni, Parke and Zach Scott start. Brad Evans should be back starting which will also add a bit more passing ability in the central and attacking thirds.
There are two minor positive changes to the match card in that Duel Percentage (percent duels won) and Passing Advantage (completion percentage minus opposing teams' completion percentage) are added. Both these and team shot plus/minus seem to have correlations to winning. Now all three will be there. You will notice that Seattle has the advantage over DC in each case. Unfortunately while tweaking this individual player stats somehow disappeared. This will be corrected for next week's game. For United their best offensive players are Nick DeLeon, Maicon Santos and of course Dwayne De Rosario so far this year. Also using 2012 statistics Seattle's best are David Estrada, Evans and Alvaro Fernandez.
It also seems like the embed of the viz isn't working. This link may work.