SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Sounders FC will reach the statistical halfway point of the 2013 season on Saturday night when they face the San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium. In those 17 matches, head coach Sigi Schmid has now used 17 different starting lineups.
The most notable change this week comes on the left wing, where Marc Burch will be the sixth different player to start for Schmid when he makes his third start of the season and first in the midfield.
At forward, Obafemi Martins is unavailable after taking a knock to the calf in last week’s match against the Vancouver Whitecaps, so Schmid instead opted for Lamar Neagle and Eddie Johnson, a combination that has yielded success for Seattle in the three previous times it has been used. In those three matches, Sounders FC is 2-0-1 and both players have three goals and one assist to their credit.
In the midfield, Brad Evans gets the start on the right side with the central combination of Osvaldo Alonso and Servando Carrasco and Burch on the left.
Defensively, Schmid will look to DeAndre Yedlin, Zach Scott, Djimi Traore and Leo Gonzalez from right-to-left in front of goalkeeper Michael Gspurning.
On the bench will be Andrew Weber, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Patrick Ianni, Mauro Rosales, David Estrada, Sammy Ochoa and Eriq Zavaleta.
San Jose head coach Mark Watson also saw some challenges in forming his starting lineup with Chris Wondolowski, Clarence Goodson and Marvin Chavez all away on national team duty.
The Earthquakes will start with Jon Busch at goalkeeper; defenders Steven Beitashour, Victor Bernardez, Jason Hernandez and Justin Morrow; midfielders Shea Salinas, Sam Cronin, Rafael Baca and Walter Martinez; with forwards Alan Gordon and Steven Lenhart.
Their bench is David Bingham, Dan Gargan, Sam Ring, Cordell Cato, Marcus Tracy, Adam Jahn and Ramiro Corrales.