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Stefan Frei misses first leg with hamstring injury

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Tyler Miller will get his second start of the year.

MLS: Western Conference Semifinal-Vancouver Whitecaps at Seattle Sounders Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Going into their biggest game of the season, the Seattle Sounders will be without one of their most important players. Goalkeeper Stefan Frei suffered a hamstring injury in Sunday’s training session and was not deemed fit to start in the first leg of the Western Conference finals on Tuesday. Tyler Miller will get his second start of the year.

In comments to the Seattle Times, head coach Brian Schmetzer implied that Frei might be able to play if this were the MLS Cup final, but also couldn’t guarantee that his starting goalkeeper would be available for the second leg on Nov. 30.

The only game Frei had missed this year was the 4-3 win over D.C. United. Miller also started one regular-season game in 2016, a 2-1 loss at Real Salt Lake.

Although Miller has played sparingly at the MLS level, he does have 34 starts at the USL level, including 22 this year. Miller stopped 65 percent of the shots he faced, including two penalties, and had three shutouts.

What should be at least a little encouraging is that Frei only had to make one save while the Sounders posted a pair of shutouts in the Western Conference semifinals against the Vancouver Whitecaps. He only had to make a total of four saves as the Sounders closed out the regular season with a pair of shutouts, as well. The defense has not allowed a goal in the last 467 minutes of playoff competition and 362 minutes overall.