Seattle Sounders versus Houston Dynamo starting lineup: Clint Dempsey returns to competitive game action

The Seattle Sounders are taking on the Houston Dynamo on Saturday (5:30 p.m. PT; Q13 FOX, KIRO Radio 97.3FM, El Rey 1360AM) in the regular-season opener of the 2017 Major League Soccer season.

Here is the Sounders’ Starting XI, presented by Delta:

FORMATION: 4-2-3-1

GK: Frei (24)

RB: Svensson (4)
CB: Torres (29)
CB: Marshall (14)
LB: Jones (33)

CM: Alonso (6) – Captain
CM: Roldan (7)

RM: Fernandez (8)
AM: Dempsey (2)
LM: Lodeiro (10)

FW: Morris (13)

SUBSTITUTES:

GK: Miller (1)
D: Alfaro (15)
D: Fisher (91)
M: Mathers (32)
M: Wingo (23)
M: Shipp (11)
F: Bruin (17)

NOTES:

Clint Dempsey does indeed make his first start in competitive action since last August after missing the final four months of the season with an irregular heartbeat. He played in four of Seattle’s five preseason games, including starting and going 80 minutes against Columbus last week.

- The Sounders start nearly the same personnel as they did in their final preseason match against Columbus Crew SC, with the only change coming up front. Jordan Morris, who missed the match against Columbus with a sprained ankle, is cleared to play and starts up front for Will Bruin, who is available in the 18. Nicolas Lodeiro and Alvaro Fernandez have also swapped sides in midfield, with Lodeiro occupying the left on Saturday and Fernandez the right.

- Oniel Fisher is in the 18 after going through the league’s concussion protocol, but Gustav Svensson starts at right back. A defensive midfielder by trade, Svensson played RB against Columbus and fared well outside his natural position.

- Bruin is in the 18 against his former club the Dynamo, with whom he spent the last six seasons. He joined Seattle in the offseason.

- Zach Mathers is also available for selection after signing a first-team contract on Thursday. He spent his rookie season last year with S2.

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