Forgive Seattle Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer if he has turned into somewhat of a mad scientist and doing his best Dr. Frankstein impression regarding the team’s backline.
INJURIES AND SUSPENSION
The Dr. Frankstien routine by Schmetzer was more forced than by choice. The Sounders have undergone some unexpected injuries and suspension in this early season. The unexpected preseason injury to Brad Evans and Oneil Fisher has caused a rotating door philosophy regarding the Sounders starting backline.
Evans had a calf injury while Oniel has started just two games due to being put on concussion protocol, Jamaican National team duties and suffering a hamstring during the team’s game against Atlanta United. Gustav Svenson started the first two games at right back.
Defender Roman Torres was given a one-game suspension and sat out Seattle’s game against the New York Red Bulls for violent conduct during the Sounders match against Montreal. Torres suspension meant another lineup shuffle.
A Chad Marshall illness just before kickoff and a jet legged Roman Torres from playing for Panama during the FIFA qualifiers saw Schmetzer start a back line of Jody Delem at right back, Tony Alfaro, and Svenson as the center backs and Joevin Jones at left back against Atlanta United. Not quite the lineup Schmetzer had imagined during the preseason.
Despite the makeshift lineup the Sounders played their best defensive game last Friday’s 0-0 draw against Atlanta United.The one constant in the back of the Sounders defensive line has been Stefan Frei, arguably one of the best keepers in the league.