Seattle Sounders vs. Atlanta United FC
2017 MLS Regular Season
CenturyLink Field – Seattle, Wash.
Friday, March 31 – 10:00 pm ET
WATCH: FS1 in the US, MLS LIVE in Canada
One of the marquee matchups of the young season is shaping up to be a bit of a battle of attrition, as both the Seattle Sounders and Atlanta United FC could be dealing with significant absences for their match on Friday at CenturyLink Field.
In Seattle, striker Jordan Morris is “day-to-day” with an ankle injury that forced him into an early departure from US national team camp. Clint Dempsey, Nicolas Lodeiro, Joevin Jones and Roman Torres could also be in doubt, as they won’t return to the Pacific Northwest until after they participate in qualifiers on Tuesday.
Atlanta are dealing with similar issues. Star striker and MLS leading scorer Josef Martinez will miss Friday’s match after suffering an injury in Venezuela’s qualifier against Peru last week, while fellow Designated Player Miguel Almiron, midfielder Carlos Carmona and potential Martinez replacement Kenwyne Jones won’t re-join the club until after their qualifiers on Tuesday.
Fresh off of their first win of the season, the Sounders will likely have to test their depth on Friday with so many key players facing a quick turnaround – and a good deal of travel – following Tuesday’s qualifiers.
The good news for head coach Brian Schmetzer? Seattle have plenty of solid options in reserve. Will Bruin is a proven option at striker if Morris or Dempsey are unavailable, Alvaro Fernandez could slot into the midfield if Lodeiro can’t go, and Gustav Svensson is a stout option on the backline should Torres or Jones be unavailable.
They also have a hearty home field advantage in CenturyLink Field. Atlanta United FC have faced a tough road environment this year, but their opponent in their lone away match of the season – Minnesota – isn’t exactly at the same level of the defending champion Sounders, who are…