A light pretraining jog before we put them into the sorting hat - Jane G Photography
Unlike past depth charts the Sounders don't nearly have 3 XIs right now. Instead with the losses over the offseason the team is two deep by primary role and has a handful of spots with a third player.
First off, my bad. There hasn't been a depth chart in some time. Things happened, but by the end of the season things were rather clear. Now, with the many losses in the offseason and a plethora of trialists, rookies and virtual rookies the chart is merely a rough guide to see how the team needs to take shape during the next few weeks.
Since it has been so long since a depth chart appeared here, we'll discuss each element of the chart below. Much thanks to sum anon (he of the 2012 scarf design) for the graphics work.
Depth By Primary Role
This section lists players in the primary role that I, with some help from the Sounder at Heart writers, think a player will spend their most time in 2013. This is not the only role a player is capable of playing. Three players are particularly hard to list here - Mario Martinez, Brad Evans and Zach Scott.
With Martinez the thought is that he has looked best in the free striker role similar to what Montero played. He would play it differently, a bit more of a passer, more of a long distance guy and less likely to head the ball into the net. The largest disagreement internally was about who the "other" forward would be. This was my best guess. Also the guy not mentioned by Sigi yet. For a list of guys mentioned by Sigi scroll down to depth by role. He mentioned all of them in that role.
Evans is going to play somewhere. He's going to play a lot. Considering the other options at left mid, center mid and Rosales' health the guess is that he gets the most time at right mid. It's clearly a guess. There are plenty of roles he could fill.
Scott could see time at right back as well, but with Yedlin signing and the club saying they didn't want an HGP who wasn't playing Scott is likely the 3rd CB at this point. That could change.
There are also several players in italics. This is because they have yet to play a minute of MLS play or better. At the end of camp they could shoot up the chart or fade away.
Dylan Remick is an interesting circumstance. He does not have a contract, but is currently listed on the roster. I expect him to make the squad. Cordell Cato is also not under contract; his MLS rights are controlled by Seattle and is not in camp yet. If you follow his new Twitter, it is clear that Seattle is where he wants to be. He's down with the Trialists for now.
Depth By Role
This is a more expansive listing of roles that a player could assume at a general level of competence. Bolded players are those that would start on many MLS teams in that role. Standard font is used when a player could fill that role well for a few games on a decent team, but a team would struggle if this is the level of skill of most of their players. Italics here is a level of skill where a player could fill in as a starter for a match or two, but could be exposed as a weak link. Players that are relative unknowns are at the bottom.
Seattle's strength in the midfield is readily apparent here. The questions at starting forward and depth in defense are apparent as well. With the open roster slots Adrian and Sigi could answer those questions through big signings. There is also a possibility that one or two of the trialists step up and earn a contract.
Gavin and Cato are not at Starfire any longer, but this should give you an idea of who is around at this point. This section will change almost every day. Those that spend more than a week around here will sneak their way into the full chart.
Potential HGP Signings
Someone will have been forgotten and for they, their friends and their family I'm sorry. But this is a quick listing of the Academy players and Alumni most likely to be signed as an HGP. Bold is for those with upside as regular starters in MLS by our estimate. In the past, only U18 and Alumni were listed, but Christensen and Kalamar deserve the attention despite their youth. Some of the players rated lower could be signed sooner depending on their individual situations and the needs of the club. None are currently in camp with the Sounders.
Again, this is early and was made before seeing preseason. The end of camp chart will contain a lot of movement, new players and some answers. For now things are a bit mixed up.