Sigi Schmid put out a near Ideal XI in today's match, or at least it seemed as such when the Seattle Sounders FC took the pitch. Notably Hahnemann started at keeper, Remick filled in for Leo and Bowen/Neagle filled in for Dempsey/Pappa.
A few things became clear in the match against the Portland Timbers. There is no starting keeper. Marcus Hahnemann played the whole match, but a clear mistake makes the #1 one of the clear positions up in the air. Djimi Traore and Chad Marshall started in defense and looked strong. Traore played the mobile recoverer and Marshall was the duel winner.
But there are other things in question. Seattle's midfield saw two rotational players start and one starter shuttled to a different role. In defense and possession they were a bit overmatched. They did get some attacks though. Tristan Bowen is a head down attacker and could pass a bit more, but his orientation is to press their goal. Bowen also provided some pressure (often fouly) in the midfield.
Obafemi Martins and Kenny Cooper did not get the shots off that they are expected to try. They did put themselves in positions. Oba nearly finished a brilliant DeAndre Yedlin cross. They also pressured early. As time passed they did this less, whether from being tired or just a lack of effect is unknowable.
The third period (this match was three periods of 30 minutes) had massive subs. The new lineup was a sampling of youth.
Hahnemann; Kovar, Morad, Marshall, Yedlin; Catic, Pereira, Caskey, M. Gonzalez; Estrada, Zavaleta
Yedlin was replaced later by Michael Azira. Jalil Anibaba came in at some point (even the Sounders matchday twitter account didn't mention it) and he's the reason the match was a nil-nil draw.
That reserve team attacked as well as the first eleven did in the first period and Anibaba made up for Hahnemann's mistake to save the match when a Timber (it's preseason their names don't matter) beat Seattle's keeper and was free on goal.
Kovar deputized at left back and showed his attacking prowess. Pereira controls the ball well in the center. Catic plays with patience and subtlety that may not fit MLS.
SaH's Depth Chart will be updated after tomorrow's 10:30 AM game against the Whitecaps (MLSSoccer.com).