* * *
It’s a windy Saturday here at CenturyLink Field as we count down to a 1 p.m. kickoff between Sounders FC and the New England Revolution. The Tanzania ads are back in the stadium after being covered for a while, so I’m sure many fans will view that as a good omen.
These two teams are last in their respective conferences, so expect to see two motivated groups.
Injury issues, of course, are lingering for Seattle. Two forwards are out — Obafemi Martins (knee) and David Estrada (eye) — is looks like Eddie Johnson (hamstring) is undergoing a pregame fitness test, so we’ll have to wait and see if he’s available.
Sounders midfielder Shalrie Joseph is set to face his former team of nearly a decade. As a reminder, Joseph has only played in CONCACAF Champions League this season, so any activity today would be his MLS debut for Seattle.
New England has a local connection in Federal Way native Kelyn Rowe. The midfielder has his number retired by Federal Way High School last night, and he should have some support in the stands for his first MLS game back in Washington.
I’ll post lineups here when they become available.
Sounders FC lineup: GK Michael Gspurning, D DeAndre Yedlin, D Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, D Djimi Traore, D Leo Gonzalez, M Mauro Rosales, M Osvaldo Alonso, M Shalrie Joseph, M Alex Caskey, F Steve Zakuani, F Lamar Neagle
Sounders FC bench: GK Marcus Hahnemann, D Zach Scott, D Marc Burch, M Andy Rose, M Mario Martinez, F Sammy Ochoa, M/F Philip Lund
New England lineup: GK Bobby Shuttleworth, D Chris Tierney, D Andrew Farrell, D Jose Goncalves, D A.J. Soares, M Kelyn Rowe, M Kalifa Cisse, M Clyde Simms, M Lee Nguyen, F Juan Toja, F Jerry Bengtson
New England bench: GK Matt Reis, D Darrius Barnes, M Donnie Smith, M Stephen McCarthy, M Andy Dorman, F Diego Fagundez, F Saer Sene
NOTE: This is Joseph’s MLS debut with the Sounders. No EJ (hamstring) or Brad Evans (calf). No Eriq Zavaleta either. Seems like it might’ve been a good game for the rookie to contribute. Mauro Rosales and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado have returned to the Sounders’ starting lineup after being benched for the CCL semifinals.