Tomorrow night’s match is a six pointer in the race for the Supporters Shield and will be played in front of another huge crowd. With the Sounders stellar record when supported by large crowds at the CLink the Sounders will be favorites in the battle for first. The match is the marquee match of the season to date and will be nationally televised for all to see.
Eddie Johnson and Clint Dempsey are back from national team duties saying they are ready to play giving Sigi a nearly complete roster to choose from. The only regular missing is Evans who was ruled out by Sigi earlier today. Sigi’s biggest task will be deciding how to incorporate five outright attacking players into four positions. Eddie and Neagle are in goal scoring form, Martins looked good coming back from injury, Dempsey is…well Dempsey, and Rosales provides a touch of experience.
The quality of RSL’s right back Tony Beltran will most likely mean another start for Mark Burch at left midfield forcing the Sounders into a 4-4-2. Yedlin and Rosales have a developed a good understanding down the right side. Neagle and Martins showed worked well together last weekend and seem to be creating a bit of chemistry. Rose gets the nod in the middle with Alonso for his ability to be a nuisance. Rose’s job will be to make the match an absolute nightmare Beckerman. With Robbie Findley likely to start up top in Sabario’s absence Hurtado will get another start next to Traore for his speed.
Here is my starting lineup: Gspurning, Gonzalez, Traore, Hurtado, Yedlin, Burch, Alonso, Rose, Rosales, Neagle, Martins
Dempsey and Johnson should join the fray at some point in the second half. The timing will depend on the score of the game especially for Johnson with the head/neck issue.
I had to rewrite this 20 times because I have this feeling in my gut saying Dempsey will start even though it makes no sense. If you put Dempsey in the starting lineup for Rose you end up with a giant gap in the middle of the park with Alonso on an island by himself. I found no good solution to the problem so I left Dempsey on the bench for another week.
I wish I could fast forward to tomorrow night, the suspense is killing me. Rave Green all day tomorrow!