Quick Reference Card with Lineup as Guessed By You | Fortress Starfire | Justin Braun (from DSF)
Remember when Seattle wins this match the Sounders will host the US Open Cup Final at Qwest Field.
Chivas USA has some issues with the number of international players in their regular lineup, and so the USSF rule for the Open Cup about only having 5 "internationals" probably limits them from starting a truly strong squad. It is also Chivas USA a team that has had a pretty bad year. But, they've made the Semi Final and have a solid keeper (one who haunts Seattle) and so they have a chance.
What can Seattle do to win?
1 - Use Wing Speed to Create Width - Yes, I know Starfire is narrow and plays narrower, but width is really about space. One way to create space is to use fast wing players to make those deep runs and stretch the defense. Whether or not they have the ball this still pulls a defender away from what can become a very crowded center.
2 - Stop Justin Braun - To quote the DSF story linked above about him "Think Brian Ching, only younger, bigger, faster and packing more athleticism." That's a pretty good player. I'd stop him probably by just marking him with one of the bulky centerbacks. Tyrone Marshall would be my favorite in that role. Aggressive, with a reputation for fouling, Marshall's veteran wiles could slow Braun down, and then the lack of space means help is always near.
3 - Score a Goal - Yeah, I know. But Zach Thornton has Seattle's number to this point, so its time for something different. Lateral ball movement should help. But this is a monkey, a mountain of a monkey, on Seattle's back. They need an early goal in order to not be thinking late "we'll never get one."
4 - Play Mike Fucito - Because seriously, he's already got a stoppage time winner, and if Stephen King is going to go down in Sounders lore, why can't "the Harvard kid?" Mike's low center of gravity, thick frame, pace and proven scoring ability scream for a game at Starfire.
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