There aren’t many star-studded games in the MLS Reserve League, but one today might qualify.
Steve Zakuani will be in the starting lineup, and newly acquired midfielder Mario Martinez is expected to make his debut in a rave green uniform when the Seattle Sounders FC reserves meet the Los Angeles Galaxy reserves at 1 p.m. at Starfire Sports Stadium in Tukwila.
Zakuani went 90 minutes in the last reserve match, his first complete game since he suffered right leg injuries April 22, 2011, in Colorado.
Martinez joined the Sounders on Friday after playing in the London Olympics with the Honduras national team. He has been assigned jersey No. 15.
“Definitely, Steve will start in the reserve game,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “And we’re going to give Mario some minutes as well. … He’s excited, and we’re excited to see him play. … He’s physically good. He’s just come from the Olympics. We just want him to get acclimated. We didn’t want to throw him in too early.”
Admission to Reserve League games is free, however a $5 donation is suggested.
The Sounders reserves are 1-4-1 this season.
The crowd of 55,718 that watched the Sounders’ 2-0 win over Vancouver at CenturyLink Field on Saturday was the second largest of the regular season, topped only by the 60,908 who attended the 4-0 win over Los Angeles on Aug. 5.
“I told (general manager Adrian Hanauer) that if we keep getting more than 50,000 we’ll keep winning,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “Every league game over 50 (thousand) we’ve won. So we don’t mind if they want to open up some more seats and get another 55 (thousand) in.”
The club is expected to top 50,000 again on Oct. 7, when the Portland Timbers visit.
Just hours before the Sounders-Whitecaps match on Saturday, the MLS Disciplinary Committee announced that Vancouver midfielder/designated player Barry Robson was ineligible after receiving a one-game suspension and undisclosed fine for “aggravated dissent” against an assistant referee in a match Wednesday at FC Dallas.
“We found out (Saturday) morning that he was not going to be able to play,” Schmid said. “… They have enough quality (reserves).”
Aside from the reserve game today, the Sounders will take three days off from training before returning Wednesday. Their next match is Saturday at Chivas USA. … Tacoma native Raphael Cox has signed with the NASL Tampa Bay Rowdies. Cox has played for the University of Washington, Tacoma Tide, Real Salt Lake and most recently the Atlanta Silverbacks.email@example.com 253-597-8808 blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer @donruiztnt