Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid indicated after Friday’s practice that Saturday’s road game at Chivas USA would mark the first time this season that Fredy Montero, Eddie Johnson, Mauro Rosales and Christian Tiffert would all feature in the starting lineup.
Since Osvaldo Alonso is another lock to start, that seemingly leaves one open spot in the front six: left midfield.
Here is Schmid when asked about the state of that position:
“We’re still looking for the right mixes in the right places now,” he said. “We’ve got Tiffert here and he’s played some games now. We’ve got Mario Martinez, who we’re trying to work in, as well. But it’s now a matter of making sure we have the right balance of attacking players and defending players, the right balance on the field. ‘How are we going to defend that? How are we going to cover these spaces?’
“I’ve certainly got ideas. I’m not going to throw them all out here right now, but it might be a little bit of a hybrid type of a team. Sometimes maybe we’ll look like a 4-4-2. Sometimes we might look like a 4-3-3. Sometimes we might look like a 4-2-3-1. It all depends a little bit, but the main thing is we want to make sure we have the right balance on the team, and then we’ll have success. … Taking a little better care of the ball will help us defensively, as well, so you get away with those attacking players. But just the possession of the ball needs to be even stronger. I thought we did a good job for the most part controlling the ball (against Vancouver) and holding onto it, and I think we’ll become better and better at that, as well.”
Here are my top three candidates to start at left midfield Saturday:
Mario Martinez — The new signing played on the left in Sunday’s reserve game and Schmid said Thursday that’s he got quality that the Sounders have to get on the field. Is he ready?
Brad Evans — A four-year mainstay provides the best defensive option, which if you read Schmid talk about balance, could give him an edge. His experience and aerial ability are also the best of these finalists.
Alex Caskey — The midfielder has started the last four games and eight of the past 10. He’s tied with Fredy Montero for second on the team with four assists and has done so in fewer minutes.
What do you think?
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