CARSON, Calif. – The lineups are in at the Home Depot Center and the Sounders will start Eddie Johnson and Obafemi Martins at forward for just the second time this season and will have all three Designated Players in the starting lineup for the first time this season as red-hot Seattle faces the defending MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy for the first of three matches this season.
Johnson scored twice last week to earn MLS Player of the Week honors in a 4-2 win over FC Dallas and Martins has two goals in two substitute appearances since coming back from a knee injury and will make just his third start of the season for the Sounders.
In addition, Shalrie Joseph and Mauro Rosales will start together in the midfield, putting all three DPs on the field for the Sounders. Joseph will start in the middle alongside Servando Carrasco, who is starting his fifth straight match. Rosales will play on the right side of midfield while Brad Evans will take the left side.
Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid will go with the same defense that has posted four shutouts in the last six matches, with Michael Gspurning in goal and a back four of DeAndre Yedlin, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Djimi Traore and Leo Gonzalez.
The bench will include Marcus Hahnemann, Marc Burch, Zach Scott, Mario Martinez, Alex Caskey, Lamar Neagle and David Estrada.
Osvaldo Alonso and Steve Zakuani are both out with injuries this week, but could be available next week when the Sounders return to Carson to face Chivas USA.
The Galaxy will start Carlo Cudicini in goal; defenders Sean Franklin, AJ DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez and Greg Cochrane on defense; a midfield of Landon Donovan, Marcelo Sarvas, Juninho and Michael Stephens; and forwards Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes.
The story for the Galaxy is on the bench, though, as former US National Team midfielder Robbie Rogers is in the 18 for Bruce Arena’s squad. He is the first openly gay player in Major League Soccer and if he is to appear in the match would be the first openly gay player to play in a major team sport in America.
Along with Rogers, the Galaxy bench includes Brian Rowe, Leonardo, Rafael Garcia, Hector Jimenez, Charlie Rugg and Jose Villarreal.