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Roster Math Entering PreSeason Phase Three for Sounders

Recently Prost Amerika broke news that two new players are likely to join the team for Phase 3 of training. First was the news of the young Colombian Montano, and just yesterday we got news of MLS vet Kevin Souter. Souter was acquired off of waivers (Sounders say that he has not been claimed off waivers, but will be in camp) and has been predominantly a LM in his few games (8 of his 9 appearances), as playing time has been limited due to injury. By not being claimed off of waivers, it means that KC still holds his rights. He is now another symbol of the labor issues. KC didn't want him, and Seattle might, but SSFC would have to trade for him.

Now five scrimmages into the preseason we can see how the battle for depth is working out for the players who are likely to be in camp come Monday. The first two listed will be the starters, second is likely a rotational and past that are guys unlikely to get starts in League play. There may be a few tweaks due to many players' abiliity to play multiple roles.

Forward: Montero, Ljungberg, Levesque (40% available minutes), Perdido (42%), Montano
Wide Mids: Zakuani, Jaqua, Estrada (51%), Nyassi (32%), Neagle (51%), Fucito (20%), Gardner (10%), Souter
Center Mids: Alonso, Evans, Sturgis (44%), Vagenas (56%), King (48%)
Fullbacks: Gonzalez, Riley, Wahl (63%), Scott (48%)
Centerbacks: Hurtado, Marshall, Ianni (20%), Parke (26%), Wallace (47%), Graham (7%)

Keeper: Keller and a battle for ONLY 1 spot between Eylander, Boss, Carillo and Lane (though 1 may make the League wide Pool).

For me the starters most likely to lose their roles are Jaqua and Marshall. Both could wind-up starting only 50% of League matches this season even if healthy since the Rotational at their position seems to be more suited to Sigi's style. At this point we can only assume that the last season's rules will be in place; which means 20 Senior, 4 Developmental and 4 Injured List positions. Eight of those players may be Internationals (which means non-Green Card, non-Refugees).

Currently under contract the Sounders have the following Roster slots filled;
Senior- 21 (most likely to be cut are one of Boss/Eylander, though Jaqua or Graham seem to have a decent chance of hitting the IL)
Developmental- 3 (Nyassi, Estrada, Montano)
Internationals- 7 (remember that Alonso and Marshall don't count, Souter is only one in camp to qualify for final spot)

I speculated once that the Sounders should alleviate some of the depth concerns brought up by being in the CCL and a likely deep run in the US Open Cup by having a IL only player as they would be available for non-League competition (potentially 12 more matches), and at this time Taylor Graham, Terry Boss and Zach Scott may fit that bill. It may not be in the spirit of the rule, but certainly within the letter of it.

Moving two players to the IL means that a Senior spot would be opened up for Parke, Gardner, Souter and even the Developmental eligible players could compete for a Senior spot.

Oh, and if all that seems simple, let's remember that many of these players can play multiple roles. Levesque was used at Target Forward, Right Mid and Left Mid last season. Neagle has been at Right Mid, Left Mid and Right Wingback. Fucito at Left Wing, Withdrawn Forward, Target Forward and Right Wing. Jamel Wallace at Centerback and Defensive Mid. To make it just a bit more complicated, as well, Mike Seamon will be coming back for a tryout once he graduates in the late Spring. Perdido may choose that same route as well.

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