Good day, Seattle — YOU SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS, YOU!
First, if you listened to the podcast compilation that Casey put together you probably already know, I’m not a Seahawk fan. But as an outsider I’m still very proud of our city and really excited for all of you that are fans of the organization that has endured so much. Being a Mariners fan as a point of reference, you may get that I can relate to some years of pain.
Second, should you not be a regular reader of my weekly — whatever this is, you’ll find that this is a place where I routinely cry or over react to various Seattle Sounders related things. Maybe you’ve heard of them. Short insight — we’re awesome and the rest of American soccer hates us for various reasons of that they’re not as awesome. #Logic
It’s highly unlikely that you’ve not heard of the Sounders. They’ve made a good deal of news within the community in the last five years, even if you don’t care for them or the sport. If you are a Seattle sports fan there is a periphery knowledge and maybe it kind of interests you to see the Sounders win a big ass trophy like the Seahawks.
The long road to a shot at the MLS Cup begins March 8th and is a little over a month away. The Sounders are gearing up for their sixth season and this past week left for spring training in Arizona. The club has also added what many believe is the final piece to this season’s puzzle and addition to the starting line-up acquiring former Chicago Fire midfielder Marco Pappa through the MLS allocation order.
Pappa is naturally a left footed creative midfielder which kinda fits the black hole that the Sounders had with an extreme lack of quality options on the left side of their midfield. It’s a match made in a place that seems good, not great but good. There is also the mention that he didn’t exactly have an overwhelming arsenal of creative players within the entire midfield or anyone to back up Dempsey in this assumed “diamond formation” that we all think and probably is happening.
So, it kind of begs the question… “is that it?” Does this last move kind of rubber stamp this off-season and proclaim that this is the roster we’re going to present against the defending Champion Sporting Kansas City and the rest of the field? I doubt Seattle GM Adrian Hanuaer is going to call my phone for chat so we’re just going to move on the assumption that Pappa is the last “major” move of the pre-season. I base this upon quotes that I’m too lazy to retrieve made by Hanuaer in the past to have a solid roster going into training camp. I can be lazy because I’m just some piddly blogger so screw you they exist.
The Sounders line-up in general is rather strong. The depth of it is something of a different matter but one that we’ll know much more about after the completion of pre-season training camp. The first pre-season match is this Wednesday (featured live on YouTube) against the San Jose Quakes and it’ll give us a good display of those that will be fighting for spots in the game day 18 man line-up and further down on the bench. It will also give us our first look at the plethora of trialists with the club, and if any of them could crack into the squad.
There will be less room and playing time coming up shortly with return of Brad Evans and DeAndre Yedlin from the US National team. The National team concluded it’s annual winter camp with a friendly against the Korean Republic this past Saturday. While neither teams play was riveting or anything to really take note of the Sounders featured were 2 of 17 players in the match. Really, it’s just great that the had any time on the pitch and especially with a group that started out at a total of 24 before being trimmed down prior to facing Korea. While that probably speaks less of Brad Evans, we expect that out of him at this point, it’s huge for Yedlin.
Youth is something that US National Team coach Jurgen Klinsman doesn’t seem to hold with any type of esteem. If you look at those that he usually cuts, or even just sits, it would be those that are young in age. As an example you can point to last summer during the Gold Cup tournament where Philly phenom striker Jack Mcinerney, 20, at the time of his selection sat on the bench through the first 4 matches and then released back to his club. However the point was for him to gain experience through the training and just being there. This has been a pattern for the 49-year old Coach out of Göppingen, Germany.
I expected Yedlin to continue this trend and then when he made the initial cut, I raised my expectations that he might just get a good 45 minutes. Yes, I have weird shifting emotions that swing wide in either direction. The thing about this is he still earned 16 minutes of play on the international level. Forget about the level of competition that was on the other end in Korea. He got his first cap and at 20 years old that’s a big deal for most anyone.
This season is going to have a lot of various storylines but Yedlin’s second season is going to be one that is frequently referenced one. Add that to Pappa being added to the club and the depth status with many of fringe players that we have in pre-season camp and you have a lot of really good things on your list to watch for in the coming months ahead.