Some managers in the world will tell you before a match exactly who is going to start and what shape they are going to use. Others don't have fixture congestion and so their first team minus injuries is going to get the play - say the New England Revolution. For the Seattle Sounders Coach Sigi Schmid has depth to make tactical moves (inserting Zach Scott as right back to shut down a winger) and play near split-squads as he competes in three concurrent tournaments. After updates on injures (Pat Noonan seems out, James Riley and Roger Levesque seem available, and Mauro Rosales unlikely) he indicated that he brought nearly the whole team. It seems as if only Steve Zakuani, O'Brian White and Terry Boss didn't head out to New England, but everyone else is there. Then, during the conference call yesterday he said the following;
As I always say, going into each game we look at each game individually. We have a plan in terms of looking at a group of games as well, but then we sort of evaluate and see which players are recovered well, which players are ready to go, who needs some minutes, who doesn’t need some minutes. It’s not going to be the same team that played against Comunicaciones, but it’s not going to be a team of trying to rest everybody either. It’s going to be an individual decision as to each player as to where we feel they’re at.
At times we have referred to the lineup card as a projection, others a guess. In this case though it is an example of a how deep this Sounders side is. They can run this lineup and it wouldn't cause mass depression. It is similar, though weaker than the lineup that beat Monterrey. The Revolution are not Monterrey. Steve at the Bent Musket provided the projection for Steve Nicol's side.
It isn't impossible that either/both of Michael Tetteh and David Estrada get a run. No game prior to the MLS Cup Playoffs matters as much as the Tuesday night US Open Cup Final agains the Chicago Fire. Sigi and squad can afford to rest several of their first teamers while developing some of their depth through playing a competitive match. Extended runs of Nate Jaqua, Patrick Ianni, Roger Levesque and/or Sammy Ochoa can help towards decision making not just for the future, but for playing time in games that matter as Seattle tries to grab multiple trophies.