We collaborated with Sounder at Heart on projected lineups for tonight's game. All the credit goes to them in the creation of this interesting statistical and visual look at the lineups. The stats are for MLS Regular Season play because those lineups and statistical set represent a much better picture of the style of play and quality of opponent each squad will face tonight. There is are USL squads, no holding guys back, no reserves tonight. This is an all-out battle.
A big storyline of the day is whether or not Mauro Rosales will go for Seattle and if Sebastian Grazzini will go for Chicago. Both players remain gametime decisions. As updates come out, we will report. Daniel Paladini would be the first choice to start in Grazzini's spot if the Argentine can't go. We saw this game plan against Real Salt Lake where Paladini picks his spots at being creative and Marco Pappa plays a much more aggressive role of offense.
Seattle has a huge edge from a pure numbers point of view. There are more goals and more assists spread among more players. Seattle has been doing this winning thing all year long. The Chicago Fire found their winning recipe in August. Make no mistake that the Sounders have the edge in this battle for that very reason. Add in the fact that Seattle is hosting and it makes it that much worse. What Chicago lacks in more fine tuning, they must take advantage of in surprise moves if any are left in Frank Klopas' playbook. The Fire have 11 goals before the 30th minute in the their last 11 games. Dominic Oduro said the game plan is to score early and that seems to have been the game plan for awhile now. The full stats are after the break.
If you need more stories and background to catch U.S. Open Cup Fever, check out our stories from the past 48 hours: