We're a week into training, which means it's time for us to take a look at how my Philosophy on Trialists (Trialists = Chickens)** is working out.
So how is it working out? you ask. Not so well, is how.
This is not my fault. I expected Sounders to behave like all those other teams, bringing in lots of strangers to camp. But no. Take a look at this list of players currently looking for a roster spot:
David Estrada, Josh Gardner, Patrick Lane, Yakir Lusky, Jamel Wallace, Kasey Keller, Chris Eylander, Terry Boss, Tyson Wahl, Nathan Sturgis, James Riley, Taylor Graham, Pat Ianni, Zach Scott, Tyrone Marshall, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez, Lamar Neagle, Mike Fucito, Stephen King, Brad Evans, Sanna Nyassi, Steve Zakuani, Osvaldo Alonso, Freddie Ljungberg, Peter Vagenas, Jarrod Smith, Roger Levesque, Nate Jaqua and Fredy Montero.
If you're a longtime Sounder fan and followed the SuperDraft, how many of those 30 names do you not know?
Two, is how many. Exactly two. Patrick Lane and Yakir Lusky. Every other little chicken already had a name. Which means: DAMMIT! I'm bracing my maternal area already, because these cuts are gonna hurt.
There are two things I find really interesting about this, though:
First, it shows that Sigi and Co. have absolute faith in their ability to scout players, to the point of giving them second chances. Mike Fucito and Lamar Neagle and Jarrod Smith are back from last year after being waived (which, from what I've seen elsewhere in MLS, is EXTREMELY uncommon.) And Josh Gardner has even made a return.
(Remember Josh? USL guy, left-sided midfielder, part of the 2007 championship team, did corner kicks? Yeah, that guy. My favorite memory was watching him take corners against Portland in the first 2008 match, where he was down at the Timbers Army end and getting pelted with beer. Pretty sure it was beer. Maybe even beer in its original incarnation.) I'd forgotten that Josh was originally a Sigi find, back in his Galaxy days. And here he is again.
And second, this this tells me is that the Sounders Powers are absolutely following through on their belief that more experience playing together is all this team needs to take it to the next level.
This fascinates me. If this were a book, I'd be frantically turning pages to see how it ends.
(There's still a chance we'll see a few more chickens, though. GoSounders tweets that "Adrian Hanauer & Chris Henderson depart later this week for 10 days of scouting in Argentina & Uruguay." They usually come back from these trips with a treasure or two.)
**To recap: Trialists are like chickens. You don’t want to give them names, because then you get all attached, which means your heart gets smashed to pieces when you take a look at the preseason chopping block and see their little heads rolling in the dirt.