Sounders keeper Stefan Frei is being rested with a hip flexor strain, allowing backup Tyler Miller to start for the first time this season against D.C. United on Wednesday night at CenturyLink Field
Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei has started every game this season, but that will change Wednesday night when backup Tyler Miller goes between the posts. Frei, coming off his All-Star Game selection, is nursing a right hip flexor strain and this was possibly the safest time for him to rest given the opponent.
D.C. United sits dead last in the Eastern Conference with a 5-11-3 record and has scored only 14 goals in those 19 matchups. That’s the worst of any MLS team. By comparison, the Sounders, who have had their share of struggles on the attack, have scored 25 times over the same stretch of games — nearly twice as much.
So, if you were ever going to rest Frei, this would be the game.
Miller will have help in that the Sounders will field a regular starting back line for one of the rare times this season. Chad Marshall, who sprained his foot in the July 4 game at Colorado, will actually not miss any regular season action because of it. A team official suggested to me initially that Marshall would be out at least until August, but he looked healthy enough in training and is obviously doing well enough to start this one.
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By the way, Marshall is getting honored pregame for having recently played in his 400th career match.
Brad Evans starts at right back, with newcomer Kelvin Leerdam on the bench. The Sounders plan to start Leerdam off slowly as he adjusts to his new league, so look for him to replace Evans at some point in the second half.
Joevin Jones is back in at left back. Nouhou Tolo, whose life in Cameroon we wrote about in Wednesday’s paper, injured his shoulder in training last Friday. The team now says he dislocated it, so he’s on the bench to start things off — meaning Jones can’t play up in the midfield as he had been lately with Nouhou healthy.
Aaron Kovar and Harry Shipp get some playing time as attacking midfielders instead, while, as expected, we’ll see the combo of Cristian Roldan and Gustav Svensson in the defensive midfield.
GK Stefan Frei
LB Joevin Jones
CB Roman Torres
CB Chad Marshall
RB Brad Evans