Sounders Insider

Alonso unlikely to start vs. Earthquakes

After the Sounder concluded practie today, coach Sigi Schmid seems to be leaning toward not starting midfielder Osvaldo Alonso tomorrow when San Jose visits Qwest Field.

"We've got three games coming up," Schmid said. "We've got this game and the one on Wednesday and then the one in New York. What's important right now is when he's playing -- when I watch him play -- he's very comfortable playing short passes, etc., but he still hesitates to hit a long ball with his right foot at this stage. He hits them at the end of practice in a controlled setting. So until I think he's 100 percent comfortable hitting that ball with his right foot we're probably not going to start him, but he'll be on the bench and be available to us."

Schmid indicated that Tyrone Marshall and Patrick Ianni would likely form the defensive middle tomorrow. (Ianni was the subject of my story in today's paper.)

"I thought Patrick played all right pretty much (against Chivas)," Schmid said. "The breakdown on the goal, him and a couple of other guys were involved in that aspect of it. Tyrone and Patrick should be a good combination in the back. They both play well and deservce to be in there. We've got to make sure we play to zero again in the back -- I think that's important. But the most important thing for us is to finish the chances we create, because I think we created chances against Chivas and we created chances in the game before against Columbus, but we didn't finish them. We need to finish more of our chances."