Lineup changes incoming for Sounders as Schmid adjusts

On the eve of Seattle’s third match in eight days, head coach Sigi Schmid expects to make some liberal changes to the starting lineup. In a conference call with reporters late Friday afternoon, the veteran coach confirmed that the changes were aimed at combating tired legs.

“We’ll probably make four to five lineup changes in the different parts of the field,” Schmid said. “A couple in the defensive area, maybe a couple in midfield and maybe even one or so up front.”

With the D.C. United game less than 48 hours in the rearview mirror, Schmid was holding off on making decisions on a couple unnamed players. He said those decisions would likely be made when the team got to the locker room Saturday to face Columbus (7:30 pm ET, Watch Free Online).

A new addition to the ranks of the missing will be Argentine Mauro Rosales, who suffered an injured hamstring in a substitute appearance Wednesday night.

“It’s not severe, but it’s enough that it’s going to keep him out for [Saturday],” Schmid said.

Rosales was injured after Seattle had used all three substitutions, stifling the team’s chances of coming back to tie the score.

Substitution pattern explained

Schmid explained his decision to bring on a defender late in Wednesday’s match against DC. Trailing the match 2-1, Seattle kept Mike Fucito on the bench and opted for Leo González, who generally plays as a left back.

After moving to a 3-5-2 with Rosales’ inclusion as the first substitution, Schmid liked using Roger Levesque as a big striker for the team’s second substitution, with the reasoning being that Levesque is better in the air than Fucito. That left only one more change. 

“With us going into a 3-5-2, Leo was a good one in our minds to run the whole line on the left,” Schmid said. “We didn’t think that was going to be a job for Fucito. As with anything, afterward you can look at it and say, ‘Well, maybe that would have been a better sub.’ If I’d have known Rosales was going to get hurt, then maybe Mike would have been a better answer to the equation on that day.”

As Schmid mentioned, Rosales’ subsequent injury left Seattle with 10 healthy players, making a comeback more difficult.