No end in sight for Sounders FC lineup shuffling
The team's depth has been tested of late, and that continues this week when Seattle plays at first-place Chivas USA.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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TUKWILA — Five ties in a row means one of two things.
Either Sounders FC isn't doing enough to win matches, or it is doing just enough not to lose.
One thing is certain, however: The team's depth has been tested of late, and that will continue this week.
Injuries and competition in practice for playing time have allowed reserves like Patrick Ianni, Tyson Wahl and Peter Vagenas to make their first starts as Sounders FC players over the past three games.
Ianni opened at central defender at FC Dallas on May 16. Vagenas got the call at center midfield at Colorado May 23, and Saturday against Columbus. Wahl, who came on for Zach Scott early in the FC Dallas game because of injury, earned himself a starting spot Saturday night in Seattle's 1-1 tie with the Crew.
Additionally, midfielder Stephen King hasn't started, but he played 88-plus minutes of the Colorado game after center midfielder Osvaldo Alonso went down with a quadriceps injury. King, who didn't play the first six games of the season, has appeared in the past five.
"Different people have stepped up at different times," coach Sigi Schmid said, "Obviously someone's going to have to step up for Tyrone [Marshall] on Saturday. I'm pleased with our depth."
This week's match is against the most victorious team in Major League Soccer, Chivas USA (7-2-3). Seattle (4-2-5) lost to the Goats in April in California, and now Sounders FC will go south without Marshall, its starting central defender who was issued a red card against Columbus and is suspended for the next game.
That means more lineup shuffling for Schmid. Alonso missed Saturday's game, and his status is questionable at best for this week. Scott is likely not an option at defender because he is still dealing with a lower abdominal strain. And Marshall won't be available.
"Ianni's an option in the middle of the back," Schmid said, referring to Marshall's spot. "It could be moving Tyson Wahl inside and bringing [Nathan] Sturgis back in on the outside."
Alonso has been missed for his consistency and defensive pressure. He didn't practice Sunday and is "probably 50-50" for the Chivas game, Schmid said, but Schmid expects him back for sure for the San Jose game June 13.
• Forward Jarrod Smith is excited about playing for his native country, New Zealand, in friendlies and Confederations Cup matches in June. He left Sounders FC for Africa Sunday. "The boys are really excited about being on the world stage," Smith said. He's particularly looking forward to playing Spain in South Africa on June 14.
José Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or email@example.com
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UPDATE - 8:54 PM
Sounders lose to another expansion team
Seattle Times transportation reporter Mike Lindblom describes some of the factors that may have led to the collapse of the I-5 bridge over the Skagit River in Mount Vernon on Thursday, May 23.