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Sounders go very young with ramshackle lineup

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The big-name absences were well known. We knew Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins and Osvaldo Alonso were out. We suspected Brad Evans and Chad Barrett were doubtful. But still seeing the Seattle Sounders lineup for Wednesday's match against the Philadelphia Union was a bit shocking.

That lineup features six players who have made at least one appearance with S2 this season and four players who could be deemed semi-regulars fort he USL side. Oniel Fisher and Jimmy Ockford have played almost exclusively with S2 this year and will both be getting their first career MLS starts. Aaron Kovar will also get his first career MLS start. The average age of the Sounders starters is 26.2 and the average age of the bench is 24.7.

It's not an entirely second-choice lineup -- Stefan Frei, Gonzalo Pineda, Marco Pappa and Lamar Neagle are all regular starters -- but it's about as far from first choice as we've seen all season.