Schmid, Sounders prepared to deal with Donovan

Galaxy star could play midfield or up top in series opener

TUKWILA, Wash. --- Seattle’s preparations for the match against the Los Angeles Galaxy are almost complete. After an intense week of training, the club closed most of practice Friday as they put the final touches on the game plan for the first leg of the Western Conference semifinals on Sunday night at Qwest Field.

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There are still questions to answer, however, as the Sounders prepare for the series opener (8 pm ET, ESPN2). The biggest concern is the whereabouts of Galaxy star Landon Donovan, who could be used as a forward or as a midfielder after leading the league in assists (16) for the first time in his career.

“Obviously we have got to prepare for it both ways,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said. “We have got to prepare for him to play up top or wide.”

“But it doesn’t matter where he plays, whether it’s top or wide, we know that he is an influential player on their team, and so is David Beckham and so is Edson Buddle,” Schmid continued. “So wherever they are on the field we have got to make sure we keep them in check.”

Regardless of who ends up playing, central midfielder Nathan Sturgis indicated that his club has made an educated guess on the Galaxy’s playing style in the first match of the home-and-away, saying Seattle has “a good idea of how they’re going to play.”

“You can’t really zero in on one of them, because they’re all dangerous players,” Sturgis said.

Schmid also confirmed Friday that it’s likely Terry Boss will be healthy enough to be the team’s backup goalkeeper on Sunday night. The 29-year-old reserve practiced Thursday and Friday and Schmid said he’s expected to be on the bench.

Boss had battled a hip flexor injury and another unspecified ailment recently, forcing Seattle to bring in Alex Horwatch from the league pool for the final regular season game in Houston.

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