While the Jermaine Jones concussion is not likely to directly influence Eddie Johnson's chance at playing time, the fact that two of the three choices to replace him are traditionally wingers in the American set-up means that if one of those is in the middle the competition on the wing decreases. Graham Zusi is out due to suspension while Herculez Gomez has an injury and is released from camp to recover. Both are regulars out wide.
EJ is a more versatile National Team player than he is with the Sounders. With the United States his time out wide shows some vision for a possible Seattle future, but Tuesday night if he comes on it will strengthen the American set piece attack while lessen its defense on the flanks.
Jurgen Klinsmann has a lot of choices, but a few of them lead to a two Sounders starting the most important US game in the Pacific Northwest in decades. If both EJ and B-Rad are on the pitch at the first whistle the large crowd will be even more fired up than expected, but that is not why they should start.
Evans should start because he earned that right back spot. Johnson should start to help the attack from dead balls and his familiarity with Baloy (from the CCL). With a likely chunky game due to pitch conditions and Panama's best attacker out with an illness their attack will adjust a bit, but is a transitional counter with set-pieces to create additional danger.
.And this nearly executed set-piece play.
EJ helps with that first element and the last as his ability to be an outlet on a counter is strong. EJ starting out wide would not be crazy.