Well we've had another long and busy offseason, but we're only five weeks away from getting back to business again. Sorry I'm two weeks late with this article. A couple weeks ago, I let my mother borrow my laptop and she ends up breaking my power cord. I was hoping to get a new one in the next couple of days, but instead I had to wait until last night to get a new power cord, but now that I have it, I'm gonna give you guys my personal opinion on this team regarding how they are on paper compared to last year, are they better defensively, are they one of the top contenders for the Supporters Shield, the MLS Cup, etc. Lately, the MLS website has been all over the Los Angeles Galaxy, talking about how unstoppable they're gonna be this season (that's what they think, lol!) because Edson Buddle back as well as Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane, Mike Magee and David Beckham is staying in LA for another two years.
As for the Seattle Sounders, well, it's been a busy offseason. The primary focus this offseason was getting a new goalkeeper as well as two outside backs. The Sounders found all three by acquiring goalkeeper Michael Gspurning, right back Adam Johansson and left back Marc Burch and following the departure of Erik Friberg, they added a little depth in the midfield with the addition of Christian Sivebaek and Cordell Cato.
I think Seattle definitely one of the top teams that will contend for the MLS Cup title with LA and maybe Real Salt Lake as well. First things first though, we need to get past the quarterfinal. That injury to Mauro Rosales on the last week of the regular season really hurt us in our chance of getting to the Cup final. But that was the past, right now, it's time to move on to the 2012 season. The Sounders look to have everthing in place now with Michael Gspurning between the pipes and Adam Johansson and Marc Burch on defense. Right now the only concern for me is, which of our draft picks will make the team this season?
Currently the roster is sitting at 28 players. Prior to the Supplemental draft, I liked the chances of both of our SuperDraft picks Andrew Duran and Babayele Sodade making the squad, but then the Sounders make four picks in the Supplemental Draft plus trade their rights to Leone Cruz to Real Salt Lake for their Supplemental pick Andy Rose.
I still like Duran's chances, but I don't have much hope for Sodade now because one of our four selections in the Supplemental Draft was Jason Banton from English club Leicester City F.C. Prior to his short stint with Leicester City, Banton spent some time in the Arsenal youth system, then he joined the Blackburn academy in 2008 and stayed there for about three years before spending six months in the Liverpool youth system. He recently made one appearance for Burton Albion during his short loan stint from Leicester City where he made no appearances. You know, I was quite surprised that nobody cashed in on this kid in the MLS SuperDraft. I was expecting him to be taken in the first round. Too me, I think this was a huge pick.
Besides Banton, the Sounders also selected Tim Pontius from UC Santa Barbra, Abdul Aman from the University of Washington, and Wes Feighner from Cal Poly. Aman was just cut from the team a couple of days ago so that leaves us with Banton, Pontius, Feighner, Rose, Duran, Sodade and a few trialists on this team like Andrew Weber, Alex Caskey, Harlinton Gutierres and Ever Alvarado.
Now asside from all of that, I'm pretty sure some of you guys have been keeping track of Steve Zakuani and his road to recovery from that broken leg he suffered in Colorado following a two footed challenge by that Stupid Prick who goes by the name of Brian Mullan. There were times last season when I forgot Zakuani was on this team and I don't know why, because there was absolutely no doubt in my mind or in anyone's mind that he is an important player on this team. I've kept track of his road to recovery and last I heard, he was aiming to return in late may-early june at least sometime during the summer. Of course we have our Designated player Fredy Montero who has scored 34 league goals in this three years here in Seattle and will continue to add to that all season long. Again, the Sounders have everything put in place, our backline looks a lot better than last year, plus we have Michael Gspurning who brings a little more height in goal. For the new players, it's just a matter of getting the hang of playing together.