Welcome back to CenturyLink Field for the final game of the 2013 MLS regular season.
Not only is it Seattle’s final game, but it’s also the last kickoff for the entire league’s slate of games this weekend. That means we’ll know exactly what the Sounders will face in the playoffs at the final whistle.
As a quick recap, a Seattle win means they’ll face Real Salt Lake in the conference semifinals, a Seattle loss means they’ll face Colorado in the play-in game, and a tie means Seattle with face either the Galaxy (with a Colorado win today) or the Rapids (with a Colorado loss/tie) in the play-in game. More details in a post from last night.
The big question, for the third straight game, is who coach Sigi Schmid will start in goal between Marcus Hahnemann (who has played the last two) and Michael Gspurning. Otherwise, I’m not expecting Obafemi Martins (groin) or Leo Gonzalez (rest) to be available.
For the Galaxy, keep an eye on Landon Donovan tonight, as he tries to set the all-time MLS goals record with No. 135. It was just a couple years ago when we saw Jeff Cunningham set that record with No. 134 with Columbus.
I’ll post lineups here when they become available.
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Sounders FC lineup: GK Michael Gspurning, D DeAndre Yedlin, D Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, D Djimi Traore, D Marc Burch, M Brad Evans, M Osvaldo Alonso, M Adam Moffat, M Clint Dempsey, F Eddie Johnson, F Lamar Neagle
Sounders FC bench: GK Marcus Hahnemann, D Patrick Ianni, D Zach Scott, M Alex Caskey, M Mauro Rosales, M Andy Rose, F Eriq Zavaleta
LA Galaxy lineup: GK Jaime Penedo, D Sean Franklin, D Omar Gonzalez, D Kofi Opare, D Greg Cochrane, M Michael Stephens, M Robbie Rogers, M Marcelo Sarvas, M Gyasi Zardes, F Robbie Keane, F Landon Donovan
LA Galaxy bench: GK Brian Rowe, M Laurent Courtois, M Rafael Garcia, M Hector Jimenez, D Tommy Meyer, D Leonardo, F Jose Villareal
NOTES: Coach Sigi Schmid said he would use his 33rd lineup in 34 games, and indeed he has. This is Seattle’s 38th lineup in 39 games in all competitions. The big news is Michael Gspurning returning after a two-game benching. Eddie Johnson starts after the midweek drama, his first since the Colorado game. Osvaldo Alonso is also back from suspension and Djimi Traore is back from injury. No Obafemi Martins or Leo Gonzalez, as had been expected. Mauro Rosales dropped to the bench after being somewhat limited in practice this week.