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Let's Say Something Isn't Clicking on Offense for Sounders

Actually it seems everyone is saying it these days. The thoughts around the Greater Sounder Nation is that there is something wrong with the team, particularly the offense. Fingers have been pointed, around the blogosphere most of these are at Adrian Hanauer for not getting Talent upgrade until halfway through season, some have pointed at Sigi for not having the team ready when the season starter. One article points two fingers even.

So let's assume this team that is on pace for 40 goals (sample size!) on 50 assists has problems on offense. Let's assume that the 4 points in 3 matches is merely due to a low offensive output and doesn't have anything to do with two poor defensive set-plays.

What is to blame for those woes?

Talent: Are the Sounders lacking the offensive talent as compared to the rest of the League? While I would be certain that Colorado has more offensive talent 9Casey, Cummings, Clark, Lopez) and the Galaxy (Donovan, Buddle, and that's really enough right now) I don't know what other team an outside observer would say has more talent than the Sounders concerning offense.

Remember pre-season the Sounders were again considered to be a solid squad with an offense likely to improve and a steady top-5 defense. There were mentions around the net that Fredy Montero would win a Golden Boot and maybe an MVP. Everyone expects more from Ljungberg and Zakuani, and while Jaqua is out he did score last year. Those that are fans of his want him back, those that weren't fans and claimed that any player could do what he did, well we haven't seen it.

But in MLS having an offense that goes three deep is pretty good (Fredy, Freddie and Zakuani), and the supporting cast isn't awful and many would say better than average (Evans, Alonso, Gonzalez and Riley as a whole).

Tactics: Here we call it Sigi's Game and the formation Sigi's Arrow. It is about quick passing a formatino that shifts, but one that certainly puts pressure up the middle, maybe even over exerts said central pressure. It is a variant on a 4-2-3-1 or 4-1-4-1, and is quite similar to offenses that have won Cups for him in his history.

It does only put 4 players on offense if the typical modern formation puts five (think 4-1-3-2), but since up to four more players may enter a play as an offensive threat that should be mitigated, right? Sigi's offensive numbers have varied quite a bit, he's had league leaders and stragglers.

He's a Cup winner, this is a proven system, it generally works.

Chemistry: I know a ton of people just scoffed, but for me in this sport it matters more than most. Where for baseball it matters nearly not at all, as more teamwork is required the amount of chemistry required increases. I'm not talking club house pranks, I'm talking a group of guys working as one. That old Hoosiers line about 5 pistons in one engine.

We are again seeing cracks in the Freddyain. Last match saw each overlook each other rather than pass. Certain elements on the team did not work as if they knew where the other was going to be. Steve Zakuani regularly sends in those tight low crosses and there seems to be a runner lacking.

This isn't about a GM, nor really about Coaching, this is about the Players.

It is likely that all three of these are a bit to blame, but knowing which is the primary reason starts to grant insight into how to fix the problem.

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