Those that have looked at the schedule this week see that there are only 5 league matches this weekend and both DC and Seattle get short rest. While this would seem to be testing only United and Sounders depth the issue is much more complicated.
For the first time Rave Green fans get the picture of "fixture congestion" as there are about to be three full tourneys dribbled into the MLS schedule, on top of the league play and the US National Team's Confederation Cup, Gold Cup and World Cup Qualifying schedule.
Most teams will be tested during this stretch, but let's look at who is getting hit hardest.
SuperLiga (June 20-28 for Group stages) has the following clubs (min 3 matches played);
CONCACAF Champions League (late July to mid Oct to end Group stages) these five;
Columbus Crew (min 6 played)
Houston Dynamo (min 6 played)
Red Bull NY (min 2 played)
DC United (min 2 played)
Toronto FC (min 2 played)
US Open Cup Proper (only 1 match guaranteed);
You will notice that each of the five teams ahead or tied with Sounders on the table are in two of those tourneys. KC and C-bus who are within striking distance of Seattle are also in two of the tourneys. If fixture congestion and roster management are actually problems than the league over the next few months should get narrower with 10 teams competing in more than just league play. All of this while the weather gets hot nearly everywhere.
The Summer of Soccer will test clubs, and so early points matter more than late, because late in the season most teams will suffer injuries during these extra matches. Sounders have a certain level of luck as a team with only league and Open Cup play.
The top tier in MLS this season are Chivas, Houston and Chicago (sorry United). Chivas has at least four extra matches, Houston at least 7 and Chicago at least 4. All also have much larger National Team losses than Seattle losing the IR guy.
Sounders in their next five face two bottom dwellers in RBNY and San Jose, between that bracket they host 3 teams competing for playoff spots, but the Fire will be coming off their two weeks of SuperLiga and Houston will be dealing with the loss of Ricardo Clark and the injury to Brian Ching.
Seattle has two roster slots open due to the injuries, but with the Open Cup entering rounds that matter, they likely will need to fill those in order to have a well rested team that can pick up necessary points heading into August and the double three match road trips.
Adding one player now, and an international transfer in the secondary window (July 15-Aug15) can provide spark from management that shows the entire club that 5th in League/3rd in West is good, but not enough.
What role of player would you like the Sounders to add?
One note for you - My idea once called Sigi's Game seems to have validity statistically. Sounders are number one in the league for assists.