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Five changes for the Sounders starting XI in Houston, Flaco gets first start

There has been lots of speculation about how many changes Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer would make to the lineup that started (and won) the last three matches, especially with the knowledge that Roman Torres was activated off the disabled list on Tuesday. But overall, five changes were made for tonight's match in Houston, with the team expected to continue playing in the 4-2-3-1 that Schmetzer instituted upon taking over at the club.

I'm not sure many of us could have expected such a different attacking unit, with only Nicolas Lodeiro and Cristian Roldan (who was moved up from his place alongside Osvaldo Alonso) returning from Sunday's lineup. Nelson Valdez gets his first start since the draw with the Galaxy last month, and new (but also old) signing Alvaro "Flaco" Fernandez gets his first start since returning to the club in the summer transfer window.

As for the defense, the only changes to Sunday's back line are Zach Scott (in for Chad Marshall) and Dylan Remick (for Joevin Jones).

On the bench, we have Roman Torres back in the matchday squad for the first time since his injury in September 2015. Three of the ousted starters from Sunday's starting lineup also make the bench: Jones, Jordan Morris, and Andreas Ivanschitz.

Chad Marshall and Clint Dempsey did not make the trip to Houston, and are being rested ahead of Sunday's match in Portland.

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