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Suddenly near full health, Sounders have tough choices ahead

Osvaldo Alonso will likely be out, but other than him the Sounders have a pretty full complement of players available vs. the Galaxy.


Osvaldo Alonso will likely miss Sunday's game against the LA Galaxy. In his place will likely be a starting duo of Shalrie Joseph and Servando Carrasco. As recently as few weeks ago, that would have been cause "sky is falling" level of alarm.

Instead, I'm actually reasonably confident. Sure, Joseph is not as mobile as he once was and Carrasco is obviously not on Alonso's level, but together they make a pretty good team. Joseph's passing is probably as good as any midfielder the Sounders have ever had. Carrasco is a hard tackler, a hard worker and is at least competent moving the ball around.

If, for some reason, Mauro Rosales can't start, I'm totally comfortable with Mario Martinez and Brad Evans being the wide midfielders again. Martinez has vastly improved even over the past few weeks and Evans has played so well as a wide midfielder, I'm not sure his starting spot is in question even if there's a fully complement of players.

The biggest question mark at this point is what does Sigi do with Lamar Neagle. In the past two games, he's scored three goals and he's been the Sounders' most consistently dangerous player throughout the six-game unbeaten streak. As crazy as it sounds, he may actually be on the bench at least for one game.

This upcoming trio of games -- at Galaxy, at Tampa Bay and at Chivas USA -- will really test Sigi's ability to juggle lineups. As we've talked about previously, Evans and Eddie Johnson will be gone after the Galaxy game. Sigi recently revealed that Mario Martinez would, in fact, be sticking round through the Chivas game, which makes things a little easier. It's also looking as though Osvaldo Alonso could be back in time for the Chivas game, if not sooner.

Which brings me to the question I spent all this time ramping up to: Who do you want to see start these next three games?

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