If you put your remembering cap on and pull up a discussion entering last year's MLS Cup Playoffs you will note that I used a top six on roster to figure which teams would advance. This is based on what works in the NBA, a similar semi-hard cap league where team play is important but stars can pull teams through nearly anything. In fact an NBA team with three All Stars makes the NBA Finals 77% of the time (Scorecasting).
Seattle Sounders FC tweaked their roster to get more high end talent. That worked. In an internal poll of SaH staff Obafemi Martins was in the top three players on the team for each participant. Likely Newcomer of the Year finalist Djimi Traore was barely edged by Oba overall and came in second. The staff ranked the top eight most important players on this year's roster.
The top three shouldn't be a surprise. But the next three and the rest of those receiving votes when compared to the top six on the other Western Conference teams that could make the Playoffs (not Chivas USA) indicate a bit of a talent gap.
Seattle may be deeper than the teams behind them. Having a 1.5 PPM record at this point with all the injuries (only the Rapids and Earthquakes compare) is an indication of depth. But top end, game changing talents? There may be an issue there.
Chris Henderson said about this transfer window that just opened "Like every window that opens it's really busy and the agents are pumping players your way. We have some guys that we're looking at. We have some cash available to look at players, we're still pursuing the search and are really active. We'll see how it plays out."
Sounders FC have options, but not much clear space right now.
"Like I said we have some flexibility, but not a bunch at the moment," Henderson noted. "In the scouting department we scout a pretty broad range, but it's really aggressive, but we have to see whether it is able to fit in our cap or if we'd have to make moves and figure out what works for us at the moment."
Searching for a midseason game-changer is difficult, but it may be necessary, because at this point does Seattle's top half of an XI compare to their competition?