Sounders Aim High, Add Height

Much has been made about who the Sounders might be hoping to add through offseason aquisitions and draft picks. Speculations ranged from "best players available" to specific positional replacements - from goal scorers to attacking outside backs - from insurance for Zakuani and O'Brian to depth up the middle. The players coming to camp - some with contract in hand and some without - represent bits of all of this. There is, however, one thing that they all seem to have in common - they are all tall.

Michael Gspurning - GK - 6'4"

Marc Burch - LB - 6'1"

Adam Johansson - RB - 6'0"

Andrew Duran - CB/RB - 6'1"

Wes Feighner - LB/RB - 5'10"

Tim Pontius - CB/DCM - 6'0"

Andy Rose - CM - 6'2"

Christian Sivebæk - CM - 6'3"

Jason Banton - RW - 6'2"

Babayele Sodade - F - 6'3"

Only Wes Feighner (noted for his physical style of play) comes in well under six feet tall. Assuming Ngassa arrives at camp, he would be the glaring exception to the rule at 5'5". I can't find any concrete information on Cordell Cato's height, but he appears to be considerably taller than 5'5". These two both possess the antidote to height - speed!

It shouldn't be surprising that the Sounders would be looking to add some height. Set pieces around the goal - especially corners - have frequently been a noted weakness for Sounders on both ends of the field during their first three seasons. As some wiser and more knowledgeable writers here have pointed out, height is not the sole determinant of how good a player will be in the air. However, it certainly is ONE determinant. A taller player will also frequently draw a larger defender (regardless of that player's prowess in the air), making things easier for a Fucito to clear room for himself.

In addition to wanting to add height for the sake of being a taller team, the Sounders lost a lot of height in the off season:

Kasey Keller - GK - 6'2"

Tyson Wahl - LB - 6'2"

James Riley - RB - 5'10"

Erik Friberg - CM - 5'11"

Pat Noonan - F/W - 6'0"

Taylor Graham – D - 6'4"

Nate Jaqua - F - 6'3"

Miguel Montano - F/W - 5'11"

While those numbers look large, with the exception of Keller (who is big and tall...), none of these players ever struck me as playing particularly "BIG"...and many struggled to even see the field. An argument can be made for Jaqua, who used his size well to hold the ball up and to clear space. I can't remember too many moments, however, where I really felt his presence in the air in and around the box. It will be very interesting and exciting to see how well these newer, taller Sounders use their size.

FanPosts only represent the opinions of the poster, not of Sounder at Heart.

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