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Nelson Valdez still out of Sounders starting lineup vs. Earthquakes

Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

There weren't too many big surprises when the Seattle Sounders announced their starting lineup for Saturday's match against the San Jose Earthquakes, save for possibly one. Although Nelson Valdez had been training in full most of the week, he'll be coming off the bench for a third straight week.

Bench: Miller; Roldan; Remick; Valdez; Scott, Ivanschitz, Anderson.

But we probably shouldn't read too much into that. Sigi Schmid has said they are trying to limit Valdez's minutes, especially if he's not feeling 100 percent, and that appears to be the case here.

In his place is Herculez Gomez and Aaron Kovar. Gomez is starting for the third straight game and Kovar will make his second consecutive start.

The other notable name in the starting lineup is Erik Friberg, who has not started since Week 2 against Real Salt Lake. Friberg played just 18 minutes in that one before suffering a knee injury and has only been allowed to come off the bench in the two most recent games.

The Sounders are countered by a Earthquakes lineup that includes Chad Barrett for the first time this season. Barrett had been nursing a groin injury before making his first bench appearance last week.

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