Rounding out the preseason look ins with three clubs instead of the usual two like the rest of the series – blame that on the unbalancedness of MLS.
[box style="rounded"]Eastern Conference links: Chicago Fire and Columbus Crew | D.C. United and the Houston Dynamo | the Montreal Impact and the New England Revolution |the New York Red Bulls and the Philadelphia Union | Sporting KC and Toronto FC[/box]
Just for a recap, I am looking at what items are missing as each team is beginning their preseason camps this week.
San Jose Earthquakes
- Deeper in the back. They went out and got a ton of new faces through the Re-Entry Draft and other methods but did San Jose actually get deeper in the back this offseason? I’m not totally convinced that they did. Their outside back depth is pretty lacking even with the new faces.
- Creative force in the midfield. Rafeal Baca was solid in 2012 leading the attack and setting things up. So was Simon Dawkins. But outside of that Baca needs some cover with the extra games on tap for this season. And what if he were to get hurt? I think San Jose could fare without him for a few games if they had to but this is one area that I would not take lightly if I were Frank Yallop.
Seattle Sounders FC
- Center back depth. Losing Jeff Parke was a tough one but Seattle may struggle this year in the center of their defense because of that loss. Jhon Kennedy Hurtado is good but you know he’ll miss some games with injuries or even a silly booking or two. Outside of him the Sounders don’t have a ton of help. Patrick Ianni is solid but is still in no way a full time starter in my book. Eriq Zavaleta may or may not be a center back, depending on what Sigi Schmid is thinking – and still he’s a rookie. I think finding a quality center back may be a higher priority than another striker.
- Help for Johnson. Yeah, Fredy Montero is gone for the year so his DP slot is available too. I doubt we see anyone new come in before the summer though. Seattle can get by for the first few months with what they have up top and hope that no one gets hurt.
- All the speed but no one to hold the ball up front. I know they still have Kenny Miller but I doubt he sticks around much longer given what I’ve heard out of Vancouver. They added a ton of speed on the outside in the attack this winter but they don’t have anyone good enough to hold the ball up and distribute into that open space. Having speed is great but the Caps still need someone to facilitate it.
- Fullback depth. They have some good defenders but the depth in the back is still lacking. I think more so on the wings than in the middle – but that area is lacking as well. Martin Rennie has a good defense but should one or more of the starters get hurt early on, you will see exactly how big it is to have good depth in the defense. Right now he does not.