The Sounders went through a relatively light practice session this morning at Starfire. (Here's my story from the Monday paper.)
The main news was coach Sigi Schmid indicating that he's going to go with a league-like lineup now that the club's first trophy is just two wins away. (However, it could be that Freddie Ljungberg's 74 minutes against Chelsea signals that he'll be inactive for the Tuesday competition, which limits clubs to five foreign players.)
Schmid said he thinks his team will be able to put the excitement of the Chelsea game behind them and turn their attention appropriate to Houston.
He also said the Sounders should have an advantage because Houston is coming off of a league game three time zones away: A 1-1 draw in Toronto that moved the Dynamo four points ahead of Seattle in the MLS standings. Then that was followed by a cross-continent flight to Sea-Tac today.
The Sounders had it easier, playing at home in a friendly match offering the advantage of unlimited substitutions.
That allowed Schmid to limit the minutes of 10 of his starters – one for each reserve available. The lone Sounder to play the full 90 minutes was defender Tyrone Marshall, who Schmid selected because Marshall's duty with the Jamaican national team had given him the longest rest preceding the Chelsea game.