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Expansion Draft Losses Effect On Depth Chart

As Portland and Vancouver used the Draft to build their rosters, or just to trade for talent as the Dax for Rodney Wallace and 4th Rd pick just did, Seattle has lost three players in the past 24 hours, while adding two. The depth chart is in flux, as Seattle will be adding and losing players in the upcoming Re-Entry Drafts, but this does let us know a bit on how losing both Nathan Sturgis and Sanna Nyassi to Vancouver will effect the off-season player hunt.

Here's a reminder on how I build the depth chart. At this time I listed every player in a role where I think they are useful as a Starter, Rotational or Sub on an MLS winning side in League play. Some will have minor changes in how Sigi and his coaches see him, rather than us here, but it should be close.

Starter is a fairly obvious definition. Rotationals are players who can start for stretches. Subs are players who will make almost all appearances in a sub role. Player is listed by full name where I expect they will get most of their time. Since the bolding and hyperlink blurred things I will also seperate the depth with a |

It is structured with Sigi's Arrow in mind. 4-1-1-3-1. This is a stacked CM version of a 4-2-3-1 with center of the band of three being more Withdrawn Forward than Center Attacking Mid (meaning a scorer over distributor).

Sturgis would have been rotational at both Defensive Mid and Center Mid, and having use in a sub role at right back. Sanna would have been a rotational at Right Wing with sub roles at Left Wing and Withdrawn Forward.

Sigi commented on what they meant to the team, and their loss to Vancouver.

"Sanna's explosive speed will be missed and his role in our Open Cup championship will be long remembered," said Sigi Schmid, Sounders FC head coach. "Nate was a very important player to our team last year, starting in our central midfield as we turned things around in the second half.

"We are disappointed to lose them both to Vancouver," added Schmid, "and we want to thank them for their contributions to Sounders FC."

With both expansion teams actively seeking trades let's look now at the Depth Chart for Seattle.

Target Forward: Blaise Nkufo, Nate Jaqua | Levesque | Pat Noonan

Withdrawn Forward: Fredy Montero | Mike Fucito | Roger Levesque, Estrada, Montano
Left Winger: Steve Zakuani | Fucito | Montano, Estrada
Right Winger: Alvaro Fernandez | Fucito | Evans, Levesque, Miguel Montano, David Estrada

Center Mid: Brad Evans, Fernandez | Alonso | Mike Seamon
Defensive Mid: Osvaldo Alonso | Evans | Ianni, Seamon

Left Back: Leo Gonzalez | Tyson Wahl | Scott, Danny Earls
Right Back: James Riley | Zach Scott | Ianni, Evans, Parke
Center Back: Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Jeff Parke, Patrick Ianni | Julien Baudet | Tyrone Marshall, Taylor Graham

Keeper: Kasey Keller | Terry Boss

I see the biggest needs for improvement in depth at both Center Midfield roles, in Left Back both starting and depth, in Right Back depth. Over the next week we'll find out more about the cap space available, but it isn't much at this time, essentially being just the monies from annual cap expansion. DP changes could effect that as well. If Montero as 3rd DP happens it could lower his cap value, since every team got new allocation dollars.

At this time Seattle has the 4 picks in the first two rounds of the SuperDraft to help as well, and it should be expected that those go to two or more Generation Adidas players.

It would be better if every role in the Arrow was filled with bolded players, and maybe Fucito makes the leaps I expect (9/4), and that would help at the WF/RW/LW. The two Rapids players could be better than they are made out to be and help depth on the backline quite a bit.

One thing is clear. The Sounders, and MLS as a whole, aren't done making changes prior to the Primary Transfer Window opening in January.

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