Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE
The Sounders did not take home a trophy. They did play more minutes competitive minutes than any other MLS side.
The amount of minutes and miles the Seattle Sounders collect in a specific season is always impressive. Even with the unbalanced schedule they still traveled more than any other team for competitive matches (hello two CCL cycles). They also played the most matches of any team in the league at 49. This week's MLS Cup Final features the team in second (LA Galaxy) and fourth (Houston Dynamo). Toronto FC was in third due to two CCL cycles and a four match Canadian Championship.
To put the amount of minutes into perspective think of it this way - Osvaldo Alonso was 41 minutes short of playing as the maximum for four team (Columbus, Dallas, Portland and New England). Impressed yet?
Maybe this adds another layer. Brad Evans logged 3300 total competitive minutes in his 41 minutes playing five different roles. That is more than those four teams plus Chicago, Montreal and Colorado. Evans was only third in minutes played.
Jeff Parke played the second most Seattle minutes and passed New York and Philadelphia (there's a kind of funny to that).
Number one was the "lazy" Fredy Montero. His 3570 all competitions minutes flying all around CONCACAF were more than any player with all of the above teams and San Jose and Vancouver. That's twelve teams where not a single player could play every minute and not put the wear on their legs that Montero did. He was only 30 minutes short of adding a 13th. He failed to appear in four matches.
Next year the Sounders could pass their 49 matches played. Sure, they did not qualify for the 2013-14 CCL, but they do still have a run in the current cycle that could max at 6 matches. Clearly they intend to match their Open Cup run of games. Making the MLS Cup puts them at 50 or 51 total competitive matches.
With so many players' futures in question, just maybe having players that can collect minutes like Pokemon cards. Yes, the wear on the legs may have an impact on their ability to win at the end of the year. But would you trade a run to three different Finals for an appearance in only one?