With Panama int’l Torres out, Seattle defense stays positive
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Defender Roman Torres (white jersey) has appeared in 24 MLS regular-season and playoff games for Seattle Sounders FC in 2017. (Photo: Charis Wilson/courtesy of Sounders FC Communications)

SEATTLE, Washington – While eyeing a return to the MLS Cup final, defending champion Seattle Sounders FC must figure out a way to replace defender Roman Torres in the second leg of its Western Conference final series against the visiting Houston Dynamo.

The 31-year-old Panama international -- a major reason why Seattle hasn't conceded a goal in 452 minutes -- must sit out Thursday's encounter due to yellow-card accumulation. Seattle won the opener, 2-0, on November 21.

“I always feel confident, it doesn’t matter which lineup we play because we trust each other,” right back Kelvin Leerdam commented. “Of course Roman is a very important player on the team, but we need everybody, every defender, every teammate to perform good. For me, I feel comfortable with everybody.”

In Torres’ place head coach Brian Schmetzer is expected to team Tony Alfaro with Chad Marshall on the back line. Alfaro has appeared in 15 regular-season games, but none in the playoffs.

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