Sounders FC coach faces tough lineup decisions
When is Sounders FC's lineup selection about more than picking the best 11 guys? Well, when it involves four games in eight days and about 6,000 miles of travel.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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TUKWILA — Lineup selection, for the most part, isn't too complicated, according to Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid.
"If it's a normal week, the guys who are playing the best are the guys who are going to be in there," he said.
Sounds simple enough, but the upcoming week is anything but normal.
It starts with a road game Sunday against the Los Angeles Galaxy, continues Wednesday with a road game across the country against the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the U.S. Open Cup, and then wraps up on the West Coast with a June 1 MLS road game and June 2 Reserve League game against Chivas USA.
Four games. Eight days. More than 6,000 miles traveled.
So how about that lineup selection now?
"This week, the decisions aren't really straightforward in terms of, 'All right, this is probably the best 11 here,' " Schmid said. "Yeah, you always want to play your first 11, but you're also saying, 'OK, this guy is gone after this game, so can this guy play three games in a week? Or two games? And how do you balance that?' "
One factor in that balancing act is international call-ups with World Cup qualifiers coming in a couple of weeks. Forward Eddie Johnson and Brad Evans will leave for the U.S. national team after Sunday's game, though midfielder Mario Martinez will be able to stay through the Chivas game before reporting to Honduras.
Another factor is injuries as midfielder Osvaldo Alonso looks to be out Sunday with a groin strain but has an outside chance of being back later in the week. Midfielder Mauro Rosales missed last game against FC Dallas with a sprained shoulder but looks set for a return against the Galaxy.
"It's a little bit of a challenge," Schmid said. "We'll have to see how we go."
for Reign FC
Reign FC goalkeeper Hope Solo has received medical clearance following wrist surgery in March and will be available in Saturday's 7 p.m. home game against Portland.
Seattle (0-6-1) waived defender Victoria Fredrick to make room for Solo on the active roster.
"We are pleased with Hope's recovery," said coach Laura Harvey in a news release. "Her experience, knowledge and ability have given the players a much-needed boost. We are mindful of Hope's continued road to full match fitness, but we are happy to be getting her in and around the team and on the field again."
With or without Solo, the Reign faces a tall task against the Alex Morgan-led Thorns as Seattle has lost six straight. Defenders Kate Deines and Elli Reed have been ruled out with ankle injuries, and defender Jenny Ruiz will be serving a one-game suspension for a red card last week.
Portland (5-1-1) won the first meeting of the season, 2-1, at Jeld-Wen Field.
• There will be an audio feed of Wednesday's Open Cup game against the Rowdies on SoundersFC.com with broadcaster Ross Fletcher on the call. Seattle is also exploring options for a live video stream.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter: @joshuamayers