The Seattle Sounders will once again take the pitch masquerading as a small market club. Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins and Ozzie Alonso will all miss tonight’s game against the Philadelphia Union. Tonight marks the second game in a row (and just another one of many) where the Sounders will be without a DP.
These undercard lineups haven’t exactly been working out for the Sounders. Seattle is 0-3-0 (losses to SKC, USOC Portland, and the Quakes) when starting the replacements. Luckily Philly may be the club to right what ails us. The Union average a dismal .88 points per game, the very worst in the league. They play like it.
Expect an ugly game tonight. Both teams will wind back the clock to MLS circa 1998, as both Seattle and Philly are playing on 3 days’ rest and flying coast-to-coast. The Sounders, of course, lost to San Jose at home, but the Union were absolutely embarrassed at StubHub 5-1 by the Gals. These two teams will be greedy to forget last weekend.
Bold Prediction: Seattle, depleted and injured, is still the better team. By far. Philly only has the edge in health, as just Le Toux is questionable. How bad are the Union? They have lost 7 of their last 10 and give up the most goals in the league with 30. Their defense is a sieve, mostly because of their ever-rotating goal tender situation (it seems the Union got the curse of the Flyers). Philly can score, at 19 in 17, they are on pace with LA and Dallas. But their has been stalled and goals have been in short supply lately.
The 4-2-3-1 should work fine this time. Azira does his best Ozzie-light impersonation and Thomas, Pappa, Rose and Roldan are getting used to working with each other. Neagle probably starts up top, but that man looked plain gassed Saturday. I wouldn’t be so bold to predict Mansaray or Jones in the starting eleven. Or would I? Either way Seattle wins the ugly contest: Sounders 2-1.