Different day, different lineup for banged-up Sounders
Cursed? Maybe not, but Sounders FC's unending injury situation will likely lead to a 12th different lineup in as many games Wednesday against Sporting Kansas City.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Sounders FC @ Sporting K.C.,
5:30 p.m., KONG
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Sounders FC will likely start a 12th different lineup in its 12th game of the season Wednesday, a 5:30 p.m. road contest at Sporting Kansas City.
The inconsistency is mainly due to Seattle's unending injury situation that, with more than a dozen players affected through two months, has seemingly bordered on supernatural.
Twenty-four different Sounders have played a game, including in the CONCACAF Champions League, and 21 different Sounders have started.
It has gotten to the point where coach Sigi Schmid was asked this week if he feels his team has been cursed.
"When we played (Philadelphia), I think that was the fourth game in a row they played with that same starting lineup," he said. "I would love to be in that position, where I could put the same starting lineup out there.
"We've just got to continue to play away and continue to be patient. ... Cursed? Maybe not, but definitely difficult, for sure."
The task doesn't get any easier with a trip to two-time Eastern Conference champion Kansas City on short rest.
Though the matchup has been shockingly one-sided since the end of 2009, with the Sounders boasting a 5-0-1 advantage head to head, including three straight road wins.
Seattle's last visit in August, however, was a disappointing one. That came in the U.S. Open Cup final, which K.C. ended up winning in a controversial penalty-kick shootout to deny the Sounders a historic four-peat.
Those memories are still fresh.
"Obviously it was a disappointing night for us that night," Schmid said. "Any time you play away from home in a game like that, a big game like that, with good opposition and a home crowd, it's a tough event. ... But when you look at the game, we thought we had enough pieces of the game and we were very competitive. So we feel we can certainly play with K.C."
Kansas City will be buoyed by the return of forward Kei Kamara from his loan in the English Premier League, and the team is off to a strong start again as one of four tied atop the East with 17 points.
"It is going to be another challenge," said forward Eddie Johnson, who played in Kansas City in 2006-07. "But at the end of the day, as a player, you want to be challenged."
K.C.'s Nagamura suspended
Sporting K.C. midfielder Paulo Nagamura was issued a one-game suspension and undisclosed fine by the MLS Disciplinary Committee on Tuesday. Nagamura stepped on the hand of Chivas USA's Edgar Mejia on Sunday, an act that went unpunished, and will serve the suspension against Seattle.
The Sounders will also have a pair suspended in forward Lamar Neagle and defender DeAndre Yedlin, who received red cards late in Saturday's 2-2 tie in Philadelphia.
• This is Sounders FC's first two-game week of the MLS season. Both matches will be against last year's conference champions as San Jose, which had the league's best record in 2012, comes to Seattle on Saturday.
• The Sounders have the second-best road record in MLS since 2009 at 25-19-22.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or email@example.com.
On Twitter @joshuamayers