The hits keep coming for the Seattle Sounders; midfielder Brad Evans has been scratched from the lineup with what is being reported as a quad strain. The Sounders are now playing without three quarters of what would likely be considered their first-choice midfield with Steve Zakuani and Mauro Rosales out of action as well.
It's a very defensive look for the Sounders, Sigi Schmid choosing to go with two holding central midfielders. Roger Levesque gets the nod up top, keeping the belief that Schmid sees his system as being viable without a target forward. Leo Gonzalez returns to the lineup and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado will get the day off in favor of Jeff Parke. Just three changes for the Sounders to begin with, but expect some fairly early substitutions today.
On the face of it, this one has all the makings of a grinder.
Columbus Starting XI:
Hesmer; Miranda, Marshall, James, Balchan; Burns, Rusmir, Duka, Gaven, Rogers; Renteria.
Seattle Starting XI:
Keller; Riley, Parke, Ianni, Gonzalez; Flaco, Friberg, Alonso, Carrasco; Levesque, Montero.