Injury will keep the Josef Martinez out of action for over a month.
The Seattle Sounders have caught a bit of a break when it comes to slowing down Atlanta United's vaunted attack, as the timetable for Josef Martinez's return is weeks not days. The Venezuelan striker's left quad injury will hold him out four to six weeks, which of course rules him out for this weekend's match against Seattle.
Stefan Frei, Osvaldo Alonso and Clint Dempsey all among questionable players that start.
There are only two less-than-ideal starters in Saturday's lineup against the Columbus Crew SC. Gustav Svensson is filling in for the still-injured Brad Evans and Will Bruin is in for Jordan Morris, who is out with a minor ankle sprain described as not "serious or long-term.
Brian Schmetzer's latest lineup features just one change for his Seattle Sounders FC. Harry Shipp is replacing Alvaro Fernandez in the starting lineup. Gustav Svensson continues as the right back option, with Brad Evans out and Oniel Fisher still with limited fitness.
Nine starters from the MLS Cup win, plus Clint Dempsey
In their first competitive match since winning the MLS Cup the Seattle Sounders have changes at right back and in the attacking band. Clint Dempsey is returning to the field. Gustav Svensson, as the third right back option, replaces now-Atlanta-United defender Tyrone Mears.
What started with the MLS Cup banner reveal ended with a second-half full of goals.
Anyone still harboring concerns over the potency of the Seattle Sounders offense in this early part of the season can breathe a bit easier. An early penalty by Clint Dempsey was followed by second-half goals from Jordan Morris and Harry Shipp, as the Sounders earned a 3-1 victory over the previously undefeated New York Red Bulls on Sunday.
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Gustav Svensson will provide much needed depth at defensive midfield.
The one glaring hole in the Seattle Sounders' roster was filled on Monday when the team officially announced the signing of defensive midfielder Gustav Svensson. The 29-year-old gives the Sounders a veteran presence to offset what was starting to look like an exceptionally young bench
Svensson spent last year starting 28 of 30 matches for Chinese Super League team Guangzhou R&F, who finished sixth in the most recent campaign.