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Seattle Sounders To Use Unconventional Lineup Against CS Herediano

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Pat Noonan Central Midfielder Wednesday Night?
Pat Noonan Central Midfielder Wednesday Night?

Normally about now, we'd put together a fancy lineup card for you, but not this week. Guessing Sigi Schmid's lineup against CS Herediano of Costa Rica is difficult. The lineup for Herediano nearly impossible. When the Seattle Sounders beat CF Monterrey it was the least conventional set of XI we have seen him use. It wasn't just a mix of reserves, but a change in shape and tactics as well. After that win, facing the weakest team in Group D on the road, sitting at 6 points of a needed 10 or more, and leaving bodies at home makes the Wednesday game intriguing from a lineup and shape standpoint.

Schmid during a conference call addressed some of the lineup issues.

I think Herediano is a team that’s a dangerous team right now. It’s a different team than the one that lost to Monterrey and a different team that lost to Comunicaciones. They had a coaching change. […] It’s a situation where the players are out now for Herediano to prove themselves to a new coach. They’re excited so they’re playing with a newfound enthusiasm, so they’re going to be a very dangerous team. We’ve got players with us. We left [Erik] Friberg behind, we left Brad Evans behind because we want them to work they’re injuries and we left Alonso behind, but we’re confident with the rest of the group we have.

While Mike Seamon is on the injured list he could potentially play in non-league competitions, but it seems more likely that Servando Carrasco is joined by one of the following players; Alvaro Fernandez could resume is mid range spraying passes per the LA Galaxy Open Cup win, Pat Noonan could become a short range passer in the mold of Vagenas per some time in Reserve Games, or Amadou Sanyang could get minutes in a purely defensive bucket.

The shape and tactics at Monterrey could be borrowed. Playing a bucket 4-4-2 with a defend and counter system is normally against Sigi's philosophies. But he does seem to be using these games as a way to win differently and get experience for a few players. Here's what that looked during the historic win.















Except that we know that Leo Gonzalez and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado will be playing. Leo because he's returning to the face the club where he wrote his story as a player. Hurtado because he's out for the Saturday game. Since Parke and Scott seem likely to start Saturday do we see Patrick Ianni return? Does Kasey Keller start since he traveled (Meredith is still in Jersey according to his twitter), or do we see Josh Ford get his first competitive action?

I'd place bets on Keller based on this statement from Sigi;

If we can get ten points we’ve got a good chance of going through and getting first or second and if we can get 12 points even better. So we want to get at least a tie out here, preferably a win if we can. The sooner we can achieve our goal of advancing to the quarterfinals of CONCACAF then that allows us to focus a little more on our goal in MLS. […] Right now we’re trying to keep both goals in our sight but the game Saturday against D.C. is very important for league, the game against Herediano at home is also very important, and the game on Wednesday is like a bonus game so if we can get three points out of that it’s a huge bonus.

While the overall lineup may be conservative, reserve laden, it will also be one that Sigi expects to aggressively pursue points. Afterall, they are Sounders.

But we probably won't see all of the offensive firepower on the pitch at once. Nate Jaqua, Roger Levesque and Noonan probably all play significant minutes. With players like Fernandez, Mauro Rosales, Lamar Neagle, Fredy Montero and Mike Fucito sprinkled in for effect.

Will you like what you see at kickoff? Probably not. Will Seattle still compete? Definitely.