Friday, March 1, 2013

2013 Seattle Sounders FC season preview

By Money Mike

It has been a long offseason for the Seattle Sounders with players leaving and new faces arriving, which of course happens every year. But with their leading goalscorer gone, how will the Sounders fare in the year 2013? I'll talk a little bit about that as I preview the Seattle Sounders 2013 season. The Sounders are coming off their first trophyless season since joining MLS in 2009. Last season, they reached their fourth straight U.S. Open Cup final only to lose to Sporting Kansas City on penalties and they also reached the Western Conference final for the first time but that was the farthest they would go in 2012 as they would lose to the LA Galaxy 4-2 on aggregate. Also because they didn't win a trophy in 2012, they won't be competing in the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League. So, since there's no Champions League for the Sounders this season (other than the 2012-13 Champions League Quarterfinal and beyond, should they advance), head coach Sigi Schmid won't have to shuffle the lineup around as much as last year because of depth and long travel. He won't have to deal with that.

As far as the offseason is concerned, the Sounders have brought in some veteran guys, a couple of draft picks, a homegrown player and also a local favorite made his return to the Emerald City. At the same time, they lost a couple of key players. Defender Jeff Parke was traded to the Philadelphia Union back in early December, and Fredy Montero was loaned out to Millonarios for the entire season but he signed a contract extension with the Sounders prior to the move so he should be back in 2014. Earlier this offseason, the Sounders were expected to sign Honduran defender Wilmer Crisanto. However, for some reason the deal fell through. Somebody reported that the deal for Crisanto fell through because there weren't any international roster spots available, which was bullshit because the Sounders had four international slots available at the time. Now another slot has been occupied and another was traded to the Montreal Impact as part of the deal that brought Lamar Neagle back to Seattle. The Sounders also brought in former Mali international defender Djimi Traore, was part of Liverpool's UEFA Champions League winning side in 2005, former New England Revolution captain Shalrie Josphn, defenders Eriq Zavaleta and Dylan Remick and they also signed DeAndre Yedlin as their first homegrown player. Of course, we're expecting Nigerian forward Obafemi Martins to be signed as a designated player at some point but one designated player would have to go in order for that to happen and after much speculation, it looks like it'll be Christian Tiffert. Now it's a question of how strong this years team is compared to last years? Will year five be the year the Sounders bring an MLS Cup to Seattle?

Sounders 2013 roster:

1. GK - Michael Gspurning
2. DF - DeAndre Yedlin (HGP)
3. MF - Brad Evans
4. DF - Patrick Ianni
5. DF - Adam Johansson
6. MF - Osvaldo Alonso
7. FW - Eddie Johnson
8. DF - Marc Burch
10. MF - Mauro Rosales (DP; Captain)
11. FW - Steve Zakuani
12. DF - Leonardo Gonzalez
13. MF - Christian Tiffert (DP)^
14. MF - Alex Caskey
15. MF - Mario Martinez
16. FW - David Estrada
20. DF - Zach Scott
21. MF - Shalrie Joseph (DP)
22. DF - Eriq Zavaleta (GA)
23. MF - Servando Carrasco
24. GK - Marcus Hahnemann
25. MF - Andy Rose
26. FW - Sammy Ochoa
27. MF - Lamar Neagle
29. GK - Josh Ford
30. DF - Andrew Duran
33. DF - Dylan Remick
34. DF - Jhon Kennedy Hurtado
50. DF - Djimi Traore

^ - Could be gone before the start of the season

HGP - Homegrown Player
DP - Designated Player
GA - Generation Adidas

Offseason moves:


January 11, 2013 - DeAndre Yedlin (University of Akron; Sounders U23) - Homegrown player
January 17, 2013 - Eriq Zavaleta (Indiana University) - MLS SuperDraft 1st rd. (10th overall)
January 17, 2013 - Dylan Remick (Brown University; Worcester Hydra) - MLS SuperDraft 2nd rd. (35th overall)
January 27, 2013 - Lamar Neagle (Montreal Impact) - Trade
February 19, 2013 - Shalrie Joseph (Chivas USA) - Trade
February 23, 2013 - Djimi Traore (Olympique de Marseille) - Free transfer


December 3, 2012 - Mike Seamon (Pittsburgh Riverhounds) - Option Declined
December 3, 2012 - Andrew Weber (Phoenix FC Wolves) - Option Declined
December 3, 2012 - O'Brian White - Option Declined
December 7, 2012 - Jeff Parke (Philadelphia Union) - Trade
December 14, 2012 - Cordell Cato (San Jose Earthquakes) - Option Declined (traded to San Jose on March 1, 2013)
December 14, 2012 - Bryan Meredith (IK Brage) - Option Declined
December 14, 2012 - Daniel Steres (Ventura County Fusion) - Option Declined
December 14, 2012 - Michael Tetteh - Option Declined
February 26, 2013 - Babayele Sodade - Released

I'm just ready for the season to start. Even though Montero is gone, I still think Seattle is one of the teams to beat in MLS this year. They've had a great preseason, winning the Desert Diamond Cup in Tucson. The new guys have come in and worked their asses off all preseason. Not that it matters heading into the regular season because that's where it really counts. I really don't have much to explain here. I'm just sick and tired of waiting for the season to start. Will 2013 be the year? We'll have to find out.

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