Right now the Rave Green Nation is in various level of disappointment. The early success and recent form have combined to create a frustrated fanbase with some even thinking that Sounders won't earn a single point in the remaining three matches. Visions of Shields and Cups danced in our heads at one point, and yet now there is a feeling that even the 8th and final Playoff spot is out of reach.
We need to remind ourselves of something. It likely seems trite, but the fact is that we are fans of an expansion club in a league where expansion clubs fail, while the rest of the clubs compete year in and year out. Sure Chivas made the Playoffs at one point, but it took them a few years. In MLS 2.0 or 3.0 they are the best so far, and honestly it took them time and failure.
We should all also remember that Sounders carry one cup already at this point in their MLS life, something that only the Chicago Fire have done.
Lastly, we should note what the "experts" who follow the league think about Seattle's success so far. This can be viewed by their picks for the MLS individual awards. Experts is only in quotes because the group has selection bias, and because in this league the only expertise resides in the players and coaches, the rest of us are just using our best wits. Like the college football rankings, very few have seen every game, and even fewer have seen the matches with an angle where you can see what every player is doing. One writer made his picks known throughout, while Ives did declare his pick for MVP.
Joseph sneaks ahead of Donovan and GBS, but Montero does get an also mention (actually a #1 ranking).
Open to all players with no MLS experience this one is littered with Seattle players - Montero, Keller, Hurtado, Ljungberg and Alonso
Steve Zakuani has the best offensive numbers of all rookies, but ranks 4th behind United's Pontius.
Keller is in second to the Chivas USA stopper.
Hurtado is in at 3rd, note that a rookier is in at 4th.
Sigi at second.
Seriously, this team has significant talent. Talent on both sides of the ball, and at keeper. While it may be under-performing at the current time (and over-performed in the first few matches of the season) it is a team that in knockout stages can do quite well. Well enough in fact that it won the US Open Cup.
How talented is Seattle? Far and away better than any club that received votes on the awards list. I granted the current leader 6 points, then 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 point for any player "also receiving votes" and guess what?
Seattle got 32 points to the Galaxy's 25. Even if all of those Newcomers are dropped Seattle sits in 2nd with 16 to LA's 23. Those pesky Revolution are in 3rd no matter the tally method with 14.
With a stellar keeper, two solid defenders and three amazing offensive talents all in the hardware hunt Seattle isn't the dark and dreary place this Fall weather is foisting on us.
It is a city with one Cup and honestly a solid chance at a second.