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Behind the unusual resumption rules of the postponed Union-Sounders game

The Union’s game against the Seattle Sounders on Tuesday won’t be the average night at Subaru Park.

Because it’s the resumption of the March 9 game that was stopped in the sixth minute due to a rain-lashed field, the action will start from the point of the stoppage. That applies both to the game clock and where the ball was.

The rules require that both teams’ lineups be the same as they were that night, unless anyone is injured or traded. Then, new players can be brought in, but they must initially be on the bench.

Union forward Markus Anderson, who was a starter in that game, has a quadriceps injury — and is out “three to four weeks,” Union manager Jim Curtin revealed Monday. Left back Matt Real, who was on the bench, is gone on loan to Colorado Springs of the second-tier USL Championship.

So Curtin gets to bring in two players who were not on the original game-day squad, and they’ll be Julián Carranza and Leon Flach. By rule, Carranza won’t get to immediately take Anderson’s spot unless the Union use a substitution, but it won’t be a surprise if they do so early on. Otherwise, Chris Donovan would presumably go on the field first.

» READ MORE: Why Dániel Gazdag is fully deserving of the Union’s all-time scoring record

Goalkeeper Andre Blake and centerback Damion Lowe are in “questionable” territory because of injuries.

Curtin said Blake will be a game-time decision after he “picked up a little swelling in his knee” while giving up the first goal against Real Salt Lake on Saturday. Blake had the knee drained Monday afternoon.

“Hopefully he’s able to go, but we have to be smart about things,” Curtin said.

Lowe is dealing with an ankle knock, and Curtin said he’s “minute-by-minute here. He started training and didn’t feel perfect, so we’ll talk with him and see exactly where he’s at as well.”

Swapping out Lowe for Jakob Glesnes, who was on the bench on March 9, would be easy enough. Swapping out Blake for Oliver Semmle would also be easy enough. But the Union will have a big problem when it comes to a backup goalkeeper.

Because third-string netminder Holden Trent has been out with a broken hand, the Union have called in reserve team starter Andrew Rick when they’ve needed to. But a reserve team player can only be called up four times in a year before he has to be put on the first team, and Rick has already been summoned three times. So the Union could have a big decision to make.

» READ MORE: Union goalkeeper Andre Blake’s plan to ‘push through’ in his continued return to full form

Otherwise, the rest of the Union’s lineup is preset: Olivier Mbaizo at right back, Jack Elliott at centerback, and Nathan Harriel at left back; José Andrés Martínez, Jesús Bueno, Jack McGlynn, and Dániel Gazdag in midfield; and Mikael Uhre at forward.

Seattle, meanwhile, traded centerback Xavier Arreaga to New England last week. So the Sounders will be allowed to add someone, and their manager Brian Schmetzer has plenty of options. They include two stars, midfield playmaker Albert Rusnák and goalkeeper Stefan Frei, who were out injured on March 9.

Frei coincidentally was red-carded in Seattle’s 2-1 loss at D.C. United — even more coincidentally the Union’s next opponent — on Saturday. But the suspension doesn’t apply to this game, because it’s not technically the Sounders’ “next game,” scheduled for Sunday at home against the Los Angeles Galaxy. So Frei could be on the bench, and subbed in for original starter Andrew Thomas.

Schmetzer has not revealed publicly who he’ll bring in.

» READ MORE: The Union are no longer unbeaten in the regular season following a home loss to Real Salt Lake

Top prospect promoted

David Vazquez was always going to move up from the Union’s reserves to the first team at some point this year. The 18-year-old playmaker has that much talent, everyone in Chester knows it, and the Union will need someone to step in for Gazdag when he goes to the European Championship with Hungary in June.

Still, when Vazquez’s promotion became official on Monday, it felt a bit early in the year. He has played only five games for the Union’s reserve team since turning pro in February, even though he has trained with the first team during the week many times.

“Nothing to the timing there,” Curtin said. “It always takes time with contract negotiations, and a move from the second team to the first team. … But nothing to today being the day, just a coincidence that we’re going into a game on Tuesday.”

Vazquez will still spend some weekends with the Union’s reserves this year. He’ll also play for the United States under-20 team at the Concacaf age-group championship from July 19-Aug. 4. The top four finishers qualify for next year’s under-20 World Cup in Chile.

But fans will see him with the Union’s first team this year, and Curtin said he won’t be afraid to play him.

“I say it a lot to you guys: There’s no such thing as too young or too old, right?” Curtin said. “There’s only a good and bad in soccer. I’m not the first person to say that, but it’s true, and it’s something that I strongly believe in.”

» READ MORE: David Vazquez is ‘feeling free’ in his first year as a pro

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