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Filling Team Needs

Sometimes the question you ask leads to an unexpected answer. In my efforts to suss out the status of LWB Jared Karkas and LW Mike Fucito I made an unexpected discovery. Now some readers may have known this already, but the Sounders have a Senior Roster spot available.

Why is this an unknown? Because the MLS website and Sounders FC website have different statuses listed for each player currently on roster. To make it more confusing the MLSPA lists salaries that can not be accurate for some of the players' statuses as listed at This can lead speculation as to how to fill team needs to wonder in ways that waste effort.

But again, Seattle has a Senior slot available, though it could be used on a Developmental Player as well. Also of importance in figuring out who could be added are the number of International Slots that the team is using, which by my count is between 6 and the max 8 (there are at least two players that may be Green Card holders). This means that Sounders FC is not limited to the nationality they look at though they may need to trade for a slot, if they are truly at eight internationals.

To quote General Manager Adrian Hanauer as relates to the July window, and the ability to trade for talent in MLS.

We are always looking to improve our team and there is a chance that we will be active in the July window.

You see, other clubs are already starting to trade talent

(Oduro to Houston for Super Draft picks) and in other cases shopping talent (RSL shopping defense for offense or San Jose shopping Bobby Convey). With significant talent available as Free Transfers, or with in the league's trading system.

Let's look three deep and see what kind of players the Sounders should look at, because my math has them somewhere between 150-350k as available under the cap. Yes that would be enough for a second DP if they acquire the slot.

    My depth rankings

in parenthesis are the averages in league matches from Prost Amerika's Player Ratings

Target Forward - Nate Jaqua (6.7), Roger Levesque (5), Jarrod Smith (NR)
Center Forward - Fredy Montero (6.31), Sebastien Le Toux (6.6), Freddie Ljungberg (7.21)
Left Mid - Steve Zakuani (6.6), Le Toux, Kevin Forrest (NR)
Attacking Mid - Ljungberg, Brad Evans (6.72), Steven King (5)
Defensive Mid - Osvaldo Alonso (7.28), Evans, Peter Vagenas (5)
Right Mid - Evans, Le Toux, Nyassi
Left Back - Zach Scott (6.57), Nate Sturgis (5.83), Patrick Ianni (6)
Center Back (x2) - Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (6.6), Tyrone Marshall (6.95), Taylor Graham (NR), Ianni, Wahl, Sturgis
Right Back - James Riley (6.94), Wahl, Evan Brown (NR)
Keeper - Kasey Keller (6.67), Chris Eylander (5), Ben Dragovan(8)

Now with the ability to add a fairly pricey player, it is likely that they could add a starter pretty much anywhere but at the attacking mid or keeper. With the number 5 offense and number 3 defense in the league, one could also argue that they don't need to add talent, but the injuries are racking up, Graham just joined Eylander and Smith on the IR.

Here is a partial list of Free Transfers within the MLS pricing structure. From last transfer window, here are some pricier talents, but with likely bigger payoffs on the table.

So as I head back to work, I ask, in light of the depth questions that the Sounders have answered with Draws (4 points in last 4 league matches) what type of player should Sounders FC add to win the league?

Freddy Adu? Would the sacrifice to rise in the allocation order be worth getting the enigmatic youth?

As for Karkas and Fucito? Here is what Hanauer left me with concerning their status.

We are in contact with Fucito and Karkas, but are not going to comment on when and if they will return to the team. We also have a local player named Lamar Neagle training with the team. And we will continually bring in other players, on trial.

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