Seattle to mix-and-match for New England game
SEATTLE — Facing their third game in eight days, the Seattle Sounders are set to welcome some reinforcements for their battle with the New England Revolution.
Osvaldo Alonso and Leo Gonzalez each picked up their fifth yellow cards in a 4-2 win against New York on Thursday night, meaning each will be suspended for one game. In their places, Servando Carrasco and Tyson Wahl would figure to be the obvious choices.
WATCH: Full Highlights: SEA 4, NY 2
“It is what it is,” coach Sigi Schmid said after the New York game. “We're going to have to deal with it and we got to move forward.”
Alonso’s loss is also mitigated by the expected return of Brad Evans, who missed Thursday night’s game with a bruised ankle. He’ll be joined by Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, the 2009 MLS Defender of the Year finalist who missed the midweek contest due to a red card suspension.
After playing 90 minutes Thursday, Mauro Rosales might also give way in the starting lineup to rest his 30-year-old legs. Lamar Neagle or Thursday’s hero Roger Levesque would be the most likely candidates to replace him on the right side of midfield.
Álvaro Fernández started Thursday but played only 71 minutes, meaning the Uruguayan is likely available on short notice.
No matter who starts Sunday against the Revs (4 pm ET, watch LIVE online), Schmid believes his team can compete against New England.
“Different people have stepped up at different times,” he said. “When guys have had the opportunity, they play.
“I don’t think it’s a [mixture of] first team and a reserve team. We are all Seattle Sounders and when your number is called you’ve got to be ready to go.”
One possible injury to watch is that of Fredy Montero’s. The striker was pulled from the match against New York in the 81st minute when his quadriceps muscle started to tighten. He was replaced by Nate Jaqua.
With a win or a draw against the Revolution, Seattle would close out an undefeated month of June in league play. Blessed with a comparatively easy schedule, Seattle have picked up eight points in four matches (2-0-2). The strong month has seen the club move into a tie for second place with Dallas in the Western Conference standings, behind the LA Galaxy. The club’s 28 points are also second best in the overall standings.
"We're going to approach Sunday exactly the same,” Levesque said. “Sigi always says, 'Make home a fortress. You got to get points at home.'
“It's difficult to win and pick up points on the road, so any points we get now at this point in the season is a feather in our cap down the road.”
After Sunday’s match against New England, Seattle face a quick turnaround. On Tuesday, the Sounders have a US Open Cup qualifier against regional rival Kitsap Pumas, who are coached by Sounders FC broadcast analyst Pete Fewing.
Andrew Winner covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewWinnerMLS