It’s safe to say things haven’t gone exactly as planned this season for the Seattle Sounders.
The Sounders sit sixth in the Western Conference with 35 points. They trail fifth place FC Dallas by three points and are eight behind the first place LA Galaxy.
Much of the team’s current place in the standings has to do with a recent slide that saw the team lose seven of eight games, claiming only three points out of a possible 24. The Sounders recently broke out of that slump in a big way thanks to an Obafemi Martins–fueled 4-0 home win Sunday versus Orlando City SC.
During the game, fellow new additions Nelson Valdez, Erik Friberg and Roman Torres also shined. The relatively new Thomas also showed well. Valdez added a goal of his own on a perfectly executed set-piece while Torres played solid defense at the back while also setting up Thomas’ goal with a deftly-played long ball. Not to be outdone, Friberg handed out an assist and won Man of the Match honors (at least according to WhoScored).
The additions of Valdez, Friberg, Torres and Thomas (likely) bring an end to a busy stretch for the Sounders. The team experienced quite a bit of turnover after last season’s triumphs. DeAndre Yedlin, Jalil Anibaba, Djimi Traore, Kenny Cooper, Josh Ford and Marcus Hahnemann were among the team’s more notable departures. Indirectly replacing them in the first team are not only the aforementioned quartet, but also Tyrone Mears, Cristian Roldan, Troy Perkins and fellow new arrival (though he didn’t play against Orlando) Andreas Ivanschitz. Younger players Oniel Fisher, Darwin Jones and Andy Craven were also added.
What has been crucial (at least when you consider the future) is that the team was able to keep its core together while also adding pieces that may end up being members of that core moving forward. This meant keeping the band (i.e. Martins, Clint Dempsey, Brad Evans, Chad Marshall, Stefan Frei and Osvaldo Alonso) together. Going on Sunday’s result alone, it would seem that Valdez, Friberg and Torres are all going to have large parts to play in Seattle’s success. Ivanschitz could also join that group. After all, you aren’t dubbed the Austrian David Beckham for nothing.
The Sounders will be hoping that this newly formed team will be able to go places and achieve things (cough…MLS Cup…cough) that no other Sounders incarnation has. With all the talent assembled, its safe to say the fans will be doing a great deal of hoping as well.
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