Look for shorthanded Sounders to juggle players, alignments in Columbus

Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer will be juggling players and likely alignments against the Columbus Crew due to national team callups for Clint Dempsey and Jordan Morris, an injury to Will Bruin and lingering health questions on the back line.

Two games into their biggest winning streak of the season, the Sounders face arguably their toughest task yet in what’s already been a challenging 2017 thus far.

The Sounders are in Ohio to play the Columbus Crew on Wednesday without the services of Jordan Morris or Clint Dempsey, both of whom have been called into duty by the U.S. Men’s National Team. With forward Will Bruin also out due to a dislocated elbow, the Sounders are looking very thin up top.

They are also staring at a number of health issues on their back line, meaning the lineup and formation coach Brian Schmetzer runs out there could require plenty of improvisation.

“We’re trying to fill two very big holes in Dempsey and Jordan (Morris),’’ Schmetzer said by phone Tuesday from Columbus after the team wrapped up a training session. “And whether it comes through personnel or whether it comes through alignment changes, we’re going to try to come up with a good game plan.’’

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Among the big choices for Schmetzer is whether to give Seattle homegrown forward Seyi Adekoya his first Major League Soccer start. Adekoya seems like an automatic add-on, given the team has little else to go with – but he isn’t a typical up-top goal-scorer.

In 13 minutes played in his lone game this season against Sporting Kansas City as well as previous exhibitions and practice drills, Adekoya has typically been flanked out wide instead of as a lone striker up high. That’s likely what Schmetzer was referring to when he discussed potential “alignment changes’’ – especially given that Adekoya isn’t 90-minutes game strong at the MLS level and would have to be subbed out…

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