The Sounders started their 1-1 draw with Houston (game story here) with a new-look lineup due to both circumstances and choice.
Zach Scott started in place of defender James Riley, who suffered what was called a mild concussion in training Thursday.
However, it was coach Sigi Schmid’s decision to start Friberg and Brad Evans in midfield while leaving designated player Alvaro Fernandez to watch fro the bench. Also, Patrick Ianni started in place of former All-Star defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado.
When Evans came out in the 71st minute, he was replaced by newcomer Mauro Rosales -- notably not designated player Alvaro Fernandez. Also, Nate Jaqua came on in the 61st minute for his season debut.
Here's some of what Schmid had to say about all of this:
On the lineup changes) I thought (Brad) Evans played very well. We had to take him out because he was obviously fatigued at that stage. It wasn't because he wasn't playing well; we just wanted to make sure he didn't suffer a relapse. But I thought that his size in the middle midfield helped us win some headers, win some tackles. I thought he was good with the ball. (Nate) Jaqua helped us as well up front. He got on the end of some crosses and caused some problems. He's a big body and won a number of flick-ons so he did well. But I take nothing away from O'Brian White. He had a good game tonight too. He showed his speed and was much busier. (James) Riley at practice yesterday cleared a couple headers and after practice he felt fine, but later got a headache. So obviously there's always the concern of a possible concussion. He still woke up this morning with a little bit of a headache so the decision with the concussion protocol was that he wouldn't play today. On Jhon Kennedy Hurtado not starting) It's just situation of form a little bit. Kennedy has done well and is coming off an injury. I always say coming off an injury like that you have a period of time where everything is going well, then you slip off a little bit, you catch yourself again. I just felt right now that he's in that area. (Patrick) Ianni has been training well. Houston is his old team so just like (Jeff) Parke last week, who had a very good game against New York ... you think that's going to give a little boost to his performance, and I thought he played well tonight. On Fernandez) Brad Evans being healthy and being able to get into the starting lineup and we thought Friberg has played in the games he's appeared so we felt that was our strongest midfield.