So far the Sounder's squad is looking pretty sharp and ready for next season, but there are still a few nooks and crannies to be improved upon. So, here goes my thoughts on the Sounder's squad. What do you think?
In terms of goalkeeping the Sounders are pretty much in shape. First off, you have the giant Austrian goalkeeper, Michael Gspurning, starting for the Sounders in goal. This man could arguably become one of the best goalkeepers in MLS throughout the next three or so years. His stats last season said it all, especially the incredible average of .73 goals per game. Now, the Sounder's major problem last year was that they really didn't have any reliable or experienced back-up goalies to fill in for Gspurning. Now that Seattle native Marcus Hahnemann, who is a very experienced veteran, the Sounders look good to go in terms of goalkeeping next year,
Losing a key piece to the back line like Jeff Parke means new faces might have to step up, but besides that the Sounder's back line looks pretty solid.
The Sounder's midfield will be one the most significant keys to next season. One of the main reasons is because of number 6 the Honey Badger or Osvaldo Alonso. This man contributes in almost every category for the Sounders. He assists the back line by giving them a fifth man to swarm opposing teams' offenses, being one of the league's best tacklers, he is great on transition from defense to offense or vice versa, and he also has improved vastly on offense. The "Alonso Effect" helps the offensive-minded midfielders like Zakuani, Rosales, Tiffert, etc to do more of what they do best while Alonso continues to be one of the best defending midfield players the league has seen.
The biggest problems for the Sounders right now is lack of consistency on offense. Montero plays a major role in why the Sounders don't have chemistry up top. Montero is SO inconsistent and can be a very self-centered minded attacker, which is why Sigi Schmid needs to make the decision that should've been made immediately after they were eliminated from the playoffs; trade Montero. The flaw that is keeping this franchise from winning a title is the understanding up top. Eddie Johnson needs someone to feed off and Montero clearly isn't programmed to do that. We all know Eddie Johnson can score, but I think he can make a greater difference if he and Montero were ever on the same page for more than a few games. The best option for this franchise is to find a striker who's ability to make plays up top is consistent and lethal to opponents.