Seattle Sounders Coach Sigi Schmid Narrows Roster Battle Down

Most of today's quote sheet focuses on the roster battle, as it probably should. The roster has narrowed to 33, and at least 28 will make the roster for First Kick against the Los Angeles Galaxy, 30 could, and with the injured list even one or two more. Heading into today prevalent thought was that the battle was simple.

  • Which senior player goes to the injured list, or gets cut?
  • Which of the young keepers stays?
  • Which of Prieto and Neagle makes the team?

Except that from the quote sheet it might not be that simple. Here's Coach Schmid;

"It can be anywhere from 28-30 in terms of the guys we have on our roster. How many guys are locks or whatever? I wouldn’t know. I would tell you maybe 15 guys are locks, 14 or 15. The rest is all open as far as I’m concerned because people push people up into different earnings categories and you’ve got to try and put your best team together. Some of it depends upon positional needs. So if you have a good young player but he plays a certain position it might knock off a veteran player who plays in that same position because you save a little bit of money so that helps you out on the cap side of things. How is going to fit under the cap? All of those are questions. I would say probably 13, 14 guys are pretty secure and you’d say those guys are automatic but the rest of the guys are in a little bit of competition."

That float between 28 and 30 can capture some extra allocation cash. Which has value, kind of like gold, except that Seattle needs to get younger while also competing in 3 competitions at once. Young talent probably trumps Allocation Dollars until the Secondary Transfer Window opens. Right now, Sigi should want to see talent that he can train and develop more than a few thousand dollars to grab another player at some point later. Points from March to July are worth as much as those from July to October.

In Florida the team will have a few games in a short period of time. For those on the bubble, whether it be the obvious ones listed above or the more delicate battles between vets and youngsters these are the games to make the roster. The Cascadia Summit and Charity Shield are matches to finalize the depth chart. That's why Sigi is taking the last 2 trialists down to the Sunshine State.

"We’ve got some guys that we wanted to continue to give a look to. There are some tough battles going on in terms of positions. Young players one day a guy steps up, a guy steps back, the next day a guy steps up. We went through the exercise if we had to pick our team now we would be able to pick it and then we just decided, ‘Hey, it’s good to give these guys just one more look.’ You don’t know if a guy picks up an injury down there. So number-wise and the way our games were scheduled there because we have got to play our first two games on a Monday, Tuesday. So with it being a Monday, Tuesday and with it being so tight we really felt we wanted enough players to make sure we didn’t get ourselves in trouble in terms of trying to put a key player into a situation where he might get injured. A long answer to a short question basically we still want to look at these guys."

Lamar Neagle, Jonathan Prieto, Josh Ford, Bryan Meredith may all be in their final weeks with the Sounders. Or Seattle could go younger and these may be the final days for Pat Noonan, Taylor Graham and Zach Scott.

After the break another 3XI as well as the rest of the quotes from the coach today

Remember first that the depth chart is an estimate. Players are listed at the position which they will see the most time. The injured players are those least likely to play in a game at this time.

 

Nkufo

White

Jaqua

Noonan

Zakuani

Montero

Fernandez

Tetteh

Fucito

Montano

Estrada

Neagle

Evans

Friberg

Prieto

Gonzalez

Alonso

Riley

Earls

Seamon

Scott

Carrasco

Levesque

Parke

Hurtado

Wahl

Ianni

Graham

Cruz

Keller

Boss

Ford

Meredith

Injured List: None 33
Injured Depth by Role
Jaqua Forwards Wide Mids Center Mids Full Backs Center Backs
Seamon Montero Zakuani Alonso Gonzalez Parke
Nkufo Fernandez Evans Riley Hurtado
Jaqua Tetteh Friberg Wahl Ianni
White Montano Seamon Scott Wahl
Fucito Neagle Carrasco Tetteh Graham
Neagle Estrada Prieto Ianni Cruz
Estrada Levesque Ianni Neagle Scott
Levesque Evans Neagle Levesque
Noonan Fucito Levesque Evans
Noonan

 

Here's the rest of Sigi's quotes as provided by the team.

Sigi Schmid – Head Coach
(On roster cuts...) "Like I said, the cuts we made from Arizona to here are going to depend on what they did. It could be one guy, it could be four guys. We basically reduced by one but this is the final group that we are looking at to pick the final 28-30."
 
(On O’Brian White…) "He’s done well and you try to bring attention to people that have done well. His attitude has been good. He has worked hard. We still feel he is getting fit. As he moves forward in that process I think that play will come along. Everybody goes through a process where they are playing well, they drop off a little bit then hopefully they play well again at the end."
 
(On Pat Noonan…) "He is fighting for a roster spot just like all the other guys just because he is coming off an injury and he’s been injured; Taylor Graham same thing. It was good for Taylor and Pat now to be full in training. Obviously that gives us the opportunity to play them in games and then they’ll decide how it turns out. I always say, ‘Coaches don’t make decisions. Players make decisions for you.’ They are the ones through their performance that either put themselves on the team or play their way off the team."
 
(On Nate Jaqua…) "It’s good to see him back. We welcomed him back and said, ‘We have a new player here, big guy. We hear he is alright in front of goal and he’s got good size and he can head the ball.’ So that was Nate. It was good. He was running. He’ll continue to do some more running and more work and we will gradually increase it. We will take him with us to Florida because now he is able to participate in the team warm-ups and the passing exercises and hopefully as the week goes by in Florida he will be able to participate as a neutral player. Our prognosis as to when we see him in a game is probably going to be right around the start of the season. His process in terms of getting on the field for an MLS game is probably two or three weeks into the season."

(On the team’s fitness level…) "I thought we were ahead coming into the season. We put more work in in Arizona than we did in Arizona last year. When we look at the numbers and the outputs and so forth of the players we feel alright. There were a lot of guys pretty much, at the end of the Arizona camp, were pretty beat. Now they have had a time to rejuvenate. The first day back when you are off for three, four days is never the best day because guys are a little sluggish and guys are trying to get back in the rhythm. But it was actually pretty uplifting. Guys looked sharp and quick and so forth, although a little rusty. Tomorrow should be a good day."

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