Sounders Insider

Sounders weren't really 4-3-3

Before their 2-1 win today, Seattle put out a lineup card that showed an usual 4-3-3 that had O'Brian White flanked by Steve Zakuani and Erik Friberg. Mauro Rosales, who had started the week before in Fredy Montero’s usual forward spot, slipped back to midfield alongside Osvaldo Alonso, and Brad Evans. And Jhon Kennedy Hurtado regained his starting spot on the back line along with James Riley, Jeff Parke and Leo Gonzalez.

However, the Sounders said there wasn’t a true change from the team’s usual 4-4-2 arrangement, simply a willingness to allow players the freedom to play to their strengths.

“Mauro does really well when he plays in space,” Schmid said. “Friberg, we gave him a little bit of a free roll from midfield and he started going some different places. And he did that. And Zakuani, we want to get him the ball a little more and I don’t think we got it to him enough. We wanted O’Brian White to stay up top and in the first half he did a great job. When you look at when they were attacking, there was always two guys back marking O’Brian White.”

Zakuani confirmed the formation was business as usual.

"I played my usual game," he said. "I think I play half the field anyway, so it’s my usual 4-4-2. Sigi didn’t ask me to do anything special today, he just said, ‘Play how you normally play.’"

Here's what Schmid had to say about Hurtado's return:

“My feeling on JK coming off his injury and getting back into the flow, I think he needed to get away from the week to week a little bit and catch his breath. My goal always was to put JK back in. We thought today, defensively, he’s one of the ones that’s pretty good and their guys are pretty good one-on-one forwards, so we looked at last week’s game and made a decision between Parke and Ianni and that’s the way we decided to go.”