Seattle Sounders face off against the Philadelphia Union Saturday at 1PM Pacific, and I'll go out on a limb here to say that if most Sounders fans are anything like myself, they'll want revenge for what happened last season at PPL Park. Seattle traveled to Philadelphia last June for the inaugural match at PPL Park and were comprehensively beaten by a side led by former Sounder Sebastien Le Toux. Now on a three match unbeaten streak, Seattle look poised to put both last year's match, and the rough start to this season, firmly behind them.
They'll likely have to do it without Fredy Montero, however. Judging from his twitter feed, to say Fredy's been anxious to get back to training would be a gross understatement. His wrist injury has kept him out of the Sounders' last two matches and although Montero traveled with the team, expecting him to start would likely result only in dashed hopes. While the forward may not have scored recently, his creativity and trickery are an essential element to the side, and are sorely missed. Without Montero, expect Mauro Rosales playing behind O'Brian White, with Erik Friberg shifted out to the right again. Steve Zakuani will be out left while Brad Evans and Osvaldo Alonso take central midfield. The defense remains the same: James Riley, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Leo Gonzalez all in front of Kasey Keller.
Although the defense is much the same as when the Sounders last visited Philadelphia, the midfield has vastly improved, and the attack is coming together (even though it's not always the attack many of us would like to see...coughELFLACOcough...). This is a team that should be able to beat Philadelphia, although the Union have gotten off to a great start, collecting nine points from four matches, remaining undefeated this season. They'll field a lineup similar to what was seen in last week's 1-0 win over New York Red Bulls, although Keon Daniel and Amobi Okugo could slot in.
For previews, a scouting report, matchday cards and more, visit Sounder at Heart, SB Nation's Seattle Sounders blog.