Tonight's 7 PM CONCACAF Champions League match will consist of familiar challenges for Sigi Schmid. What has been true since 2010 is still true when it comes to the CCL - long travel (that's 3 day drive!), less practice time, crab grass, odd referee decisions and, of course, injuries. The Tuesday MLS Injury Report is fairly long;
OUT: FW Babayele Sodade (R knee ACL tear); DEF Andrew Duran (L ACL surgery); QUESTIONABLE: GK Andrew Weber (R adductor strain); FW David Estrada (L foot fracture); PROBABLE: MF Mauro Rosales (R quad strain); MF Christian Tiffert (R ankle sprain)
It does not note that Marcus Hahnemann is also staying back. His reason is not injury, but instead a status called "I was really retired." He's working to get back to full fitness. Michael Tetteh is still on loan as well. Of the 31 rostered players a full eight are out, two of those are DPs.
Schmid has some interesting options though. Eddie Johnson is barred from Saturday's game against San Jose (ignore your ticket, the game is Saturday at 7:30PM). Sammy Ochoa, Alex Caskey and Andy Rose have excelled in their CCL time for 2012, as has Fredy Montero.
Seattle has its usual choices at centerback and left back, both Rose and Evans are available for the center mid role. Mario Martinez is returning like a king to his home nation. With Marathon being known for strong wing play and Johansson typically only going once a week it seems likely that Zack Scott starts.
It may not be the strongest lineup due to the lack of DPs, but a lineup like this should be able to beat a Marathon side that just isn't very good right now.
That leaves talent like Caskey, Zakuani, Hurtado, Johansson and Montero on the bench ready to provide a spark. It also puts forward height and strength to bang against a team that Sigi said is strong, but not necessarily big.