Here’s the starting lineups between Seattle Sounders FC and Los Angeles FC in their MLS season opener Sunday at CenturyLink Field:
Lineup (4-2-3-1): Stefan Frei; Nouhou, Tony Alfaro, Roman Torres, Jordy Delem; Cristian Roldan, Gustav Svensson; Harry Shipp, Nicolas Lodeiro (c), Henry Wingo; Will Bruin.
Bench: Bryan Meredith, Waylon Francis, Chad Marshall, Alex Roldan, Magnus Wolff Ekrem, Handwalla Bwana, Lamar Neagle.
Notes: The Sounders open the season with a lineup that’s a shell of the team’s first-choice 11. Seattle already knew it would be without forward Jordan Morris (out for the season with a torn ACL), midfield anchor Osvaldo Alonso (quadriceps) and right back Kelvin Leerdam (ankle), while midfielder Victor Rodriguez (quad) also sits after being listed as questionable. Then two other big names don’t start for unknown reasons as forward Clint Dempsey is out all together and central defender Chad Marshall is only on the bench — those two featured in Seattle’s CONCACAF Champions League victory over Santa Tecla FC on Thursday. Alfaro starts for Marshall, meaning new signing Kim Kee-hee isn’t ready for game action yet. Delem gets the nod at right back, while Shipp and Wingo are the surprise fill-ins in attacking midfield.
Lineup (4-3-3): Tyler Miller; Joao Moutinho, Walker Zimmerman, Laurent Ciman (c), Steven Beitashour; Mark-Anthony Kaye, Benny Feilhaber, Latif Blessing; Carlos Vela, Diego Rossi, Marco Urena.
Bench: Charlie Lyon, Omar Gaber, Dejan Jakovic, Jordan Harvey, Tristan Blackmon, James Murphy, Rodrigo Pacheco.
Notes: This is expansion LAFC’s first ever MLS game, and it’s a homecoming for former Sounders back-up goalkeeper Miller, who was the first pick in the expansion draft. However, midfielder Aaron Kovar, who’s on loan from the Sounders this season, is ineligible to play against his parent team. Veteran defender Ciman (knee) was considered questionable, but he’s good to go, while other questionables Gaber (adductor) and Murphy (shoulder) are healthy enough to make the bench. Los Angeles’ big threats are Mexican international Vela, a veteran of European soccer, and Rossi, a talented 19-year-old from Uruguay.