Osvaldo Alonso is scratched from Sunday's 100th clash between the Sounders and Timbers while Clint Dempsey gets a rare start at the striker position.
PORTLAND, Ore. — Sounders fans have been out in force at Providence Park since a good 2 1/2 hours before kickoff of this 100th clash with the Portland Timbers.
The starting lineup just announced contains some big surprises, namely no Osvaldo Alonso and Clint Dempsey up top at the striker position. Alonso is said to be out with a strained left quadriceps muscle suffered in Friday’s training. The injury is not related to his prior ones, though must be painful because he never likes to miss these rivalry games. The Sounders say it isn’t expected to be long-term.
As for Dempsey up high, Will Bruin — who scored a key goal at Toronto last Wednesday — isn’t even on the 18-man roster for Sunday’s game. He got kicked in his left heel during the Toronto game and is was still painful enough during Saturday’s training session that he is a complete scratch.
Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer is going with the same 5-4-1 formation that was used successfully against the “Reds” in a 2-1 victory four days ago. The biggest difference this time is two different fullbacks — Nouhou and Kelvin Leerdam — starting on the flanks of a five-man backline. Gustav Svensson and Chad Marshall remain at center back, while Kim Kee-hee takes Tony Alfaro’s place after being rested on the bench in the Toronto match.
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Alex Roldan will start on left wing while Handwalla Bwana — who scored the game winner at Toronto — starts off on the bench.
GK Stefan Frei
RB Kelvin Leerdam
CB Gustav Svensson
CB Chad Marshall
CB Kim Kee-hee
MF Alex Roldan
MF Jordy Delem
MF Cristian Roldan
MF Magnus Wolff Eikrem
FW Clint Dempsey