- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On March 8, 2010
- 2 Comments
- Brad Evans, David Estrada, Freddie Ljungberg, Freddy Montero, James Riley, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Kasey Keller, Kevin Souter, Miguel Montano, Nate Jaqua, Nathan Sturgis, Osvaldo Alonso, Patrick Ianni, Peter Vagenas, Sigi Schmid, Stephen King, Steve Zakuani, Taylor Graham, Tyrone Marshall
We only have two more clubs to look at here in our preseason look-ins of each Major League Soccer club. Today we head to the Pacific Northwest to see how Sigi Schmid and his Seattle Sounders FC are doing this winter.
For the most part things have been fairly quiet for last year’s expansion darlings. Schmid has kept the majority of his club intact from last season which came very close to a western conference final birth, not to mention they were the winners of the US Open Cup.
So far this winter the Sounders have been fairly quiet, only signing a couple players. Though they will get one big boost this summer with Swiss striker Blaise Nkufo joins them. Until then the Sounders will have to rely on young star Freddy Montero to carry the offensive load, which shouldn’t be much of an issue.
Anyways, let’s dive in to see who Seattle has going into the new season and where else they need to fill in the holes.
Who they have: Kasey Keller, Chris Eylander, Terry Boss.
Notes: When you have one of the best American keepers in US soccer history you’re pretty set, even if Keller is up there in age. Also they have a pretty solid backup in Eylander too so this is an area I think Sounder founds aren’t at all worried about. I’d be even willing to bet that should Keller be out for an injury at some point in this season that Eylander will be a fine replacement. But for their sake I hope Keller stays healthy for the year.
Who they have: Tyrone Marshall, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Patrick Ianni, Tyson Wahl, James Riley, Nathan Sturgis, Leonardo Gonzalez, Zach Scott, Taylor Graham.
Notes: This is a group I like but am not totally in love with…yet. Between Hurtado, Marshall, Riley and Gonzalez I think they’re pretty good but after that they’re pretty young and raw. I’d like to think that Sturgis will finally be fit enough to show his true potential this season. If he can be the player LA draft him to be a couple years back then they’ll be doing very well in the back this year.
I’d still like them to get a little deeper in the back though by getting another center back. Times they got beat least year were right down the middle on some sloppy plays. Possibly improving on their outside backs wouldn’t hurt either. I know they’ve had Jeff Parke in camp some this winter, that wouldn’t be a bad pick up for them.
Who they have: Freddie Ljungberg, Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Steve Zakuani, Stephen King, Sanna Nyassi, Peter Vagenas, David Estrada, Kevin Souter.
Notes: When 100% the group of Ljungberg, Evans, Alonso and Zakuani are as close to being the top midfield group in the league as possible. I’d argue they are one of the best on any given day. Thing is you can’t count on them to be 100% all the time, especially not when they play 15 games on turf.
We could also see them lump in guys like Nate Jaqua to this group since they typically play more out wide than up top. But something tells me Jaqua could be on his way out with that recent signing. I would like to see them add a little more depth on the wings though and maybe another guy to facilitate the offense when Ljungberg isn’t out there.
Who they have: Freddy Montero, Nate Jaqua, Roger Levesque, Miguel Montano
Notes: They’ve address this light area with the signing of Nkufo but he won’t be there until the summer. So a lot of pressure will be on Montero to live up to his hype yet again this season. If Montero struggles early it could be a bumping couple months until Nkufo arrives to this club.
I think adding another striker here for the short term could be beneficial. They do have young Montano but not many know exactly how productive the 18-year old will be. Adding someone with experience is the way to go here but it looks like they’re just waiting on Nkufo for the time being.
This should be an interesting year in Seattle. The club has a little more on their menu with the CONCACAF Champions League later in the year. Should they have any issues before then in terms of depth it could be a rocky road in the second half of the season. I think however Schmid’s club is set up nicely to brace any kind of storm that their schedule could present them this year.
The big wonder on most folks mind is whether or not they’ll be able to keep Montero for the entire season. My bet is they will so they’ll have to make the most of things this season.
Seattle should be in prime position to remain near the top of the west and the league this season should all the right parties be healthy this year. Lets not forget they were only a couple points out of being a Supporter’s Shield winner in their first season. I think they’ll be contending again in 2010.