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Preseason: Sounders v Earthquakes - what to watch

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At 11 AM 10 AM Wednesday preseason enters the game playing phase. Down in Arizona Seattle will face San Jose. The match will be streamed on MLSSoccer.com.

USA TODAY Sports

Games are finally coming back. A few MLS sides already played their first preseason games and on Wednesday at 10 AM Seattle Sounders FC will join them. They are missing some key pieces as they take on the San Jose Earthquakes. Dempsey is still with Fulham. Evans and Yedlin are taking a short break after starting their training with the United States. With so many changes there will be a chance to watch some youth and see what Plan B is in the attack (Plan A is going to be Clint).

  1. Plan B - Sigi Schmid will likely change the shape, not just the strategy without two of his most defining pieces. What is this shape and how does it get used?

  2. Centerback Pairing - Chad Marshall is one starter. Will new signing Jalil Anibaba earn the other spot, or does veteran Djimi Traore have another year in him? Some of this may be set aside as Anibaba slides right with Yedlin out.

  3. Starting Keeper - this is simple. Marcus Hahnemann v Stefan Frei.

  4. Backup Defensive Mid - Seattle lacks a clear back-up for Osvaldo Alonso. Trialists Azira, Morad and Morrison all could earn time there.

  5. What youth will show - a full third of the roster is 23 or younger. Some may be looking at loans on the year, others for a first pro contract and a few could just make 2014 their breakout year. Their first 90 minutes to show come against a typically bruising San Jose.
Some of these answers will happen over time. Others could be clear by the end of Wednesday's match. As always Sounder at Heart will have a gamethread and a recap.