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What Offensive Help Was Out There

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I'm seriously doing this. I'm looking at that task list I posted and completing it. Step one was simple, look at the players available that were already on the team. The list seemed rather balanced between young and old, between target types, and ball at feet.

Step two was a bit more complex. We looked at the trendline to see if the Sounders are truly entering desperate stages, or if they should be better than they are. It should be noted that most observers no longer think the Sounders are better than they have performed.

Stage three is a bit different, but still relevant. What players were out there that were MLS quality or better and available to the Sounders. I am still focusing on the offense, partially because it is quantifiable, and also because I think that long term the defense will be sound.

So who was out there?

First off were the trialists. Tye Perdido, Gao LeiLei, Yakir Lusky. This isn't a list of All-Stars. The "best" of them is in the 4th tier of USSF, with the Kitsap Pumas. Lusky is currently unattached as best as I can discover. LeiLei is with the NSC Minnesota Stars and has one goal - off a penalty.

So what about last year's trials and rarely used players? Kevin Forrest is currently with Washington Crossfire of the PDL. They are not a pro side. The only other notable offensive player that trialed on occaision is Ryan Pore. Reportedly he wasn't that good in camp. He has been stellar so far in the USSF Division 2 with the Timbers earning April Player of the Month honors. Probably though not the answer if you want a "target" man.

Players that were available to an MLS side maybe? Ali Gerba could have been acquired fairly easily one would think. I mean Toronto FC is paying him to NOT play right now. Dave van den Berg is still out there. He's a left sided midfielder that can't defend, is fairly slow now, and doesn't score. No free agent brought into the league has more than 2 goals at this point. Sure, Collins John has an injury bug, but seriously, the best offensive player brought to the league is Danny Allsopp. Two goals in  starts and a sub appearance isn't the answer, is it?

Really the only place to look for a significant improvement would have been the draft. There weren't players clamoring to play in MLS that could have cracked the lineup, not without a DP slot that the Sounders didn't have. Bright Dike was cut by the Crew. Andrew Wiedeman nor Andre Akpan have appeared in league play. New England with the 31st pick took Zak Boggs, he scored two goals against the Crew in a loss. Conor Chinn scored two goals in an Open Cup Qualification match against the Union. And we are done with forwards taken in the draft.

Maybe the lack of scoring forwards in MLS has more to do with MLS than it does the lack of effort by the Sounders to find one that would take MLS dollars? Do any of those names inspire you more than Miguel Montano or David Estrada?

Of course the new DP rules changed everything and now dreams of a front three of Zakuani, nKufo and DMB/Beckford/Mahmoud/etc could be a reality.