Today is the day when the Sounders can only have a maximum of 30 players under contract and must be under the salary cap. Twenty of the slots are for Senior Roster spots; those count towards the cap.
Slots 21-24 can be players of any age, but essentially make the league minimum. Generation Adidas players are in this category as well. Slots 25-30 can only be used for players under the age of 25 and are signed to a deal worth only $32,500.
The three different slots, combined with contractual situations of Richard Martinez and #TheTrialist, make the cuts not just about talent this year, and for the near future, but also requires working the spreadsheet and phone to the league offices. Some players may not like the idea of taking a pay-cut.
The cut list could be built in many ways. Below is just one example.
First, I'm saying the #TheTrialist makes it and when he does they'll use a Discovery Claim and Senior slot on him.
Second, I don't think anyone is obviously injured enough to justify using the Injured List. So, in these assumptions I'm not going to put someone on the IL just to keep them.
Third, I think Roger Levesque isn't the non-League right back. He's a utility guy and will be in the 18 quite a bit. So either Zach Scott or Richard Martinez has to be seen as the 2nd RB.
Let's look at the 19 Locks then;
The Designated Players - Blaise Nkufo, Fredy Montero, Alvaro Fernandez
The Pricey Talents - Steve Zakuani, Nate Jaqua, Kasey Keller
Other Starters - Leo Gonzalez, Osvaldo Alonso, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, James Riley, Brad Evans, Erik Friberg
Not-quite Starters - O'Brian White, Patrick Ianni, Michael Tetteh (GA), Mike Fucito, Danny Earls
That's 16 Senior slots and 3 from 21-24.
Which four other players would I put into the Senior slots?
Tyson Wahl - his ability to play both left back and center back while providing a left foot with some accuracy on distant set-plays has him make my cut.
Roger Levesque - ForMidFender is the ultimate utility guy, plus he has a great 'stache.
Terry Boss - because I don't think Seattle's hopes at a run in CCL and Open Cup play can rest on a rookie's shoulders.
Taylor Graham or Zach Scott - In ways it really depends on Richard Martinez making the team or not. One of these two is going to be on the team or Juan Cruz would still be here.
The old Developmental Players - one to fill if Danny Earls is in this slot. I think with his pro experience he has to be. The one other spot this section gets really tricky. Because I would expect it to be needed for either, and maybe both, of Martinez and Neagle.
I expect that if the team can get the right deal worked out they will keep Martinez, but they'll probably need to get him in this price, just due to cost of living changes and his change from being a starter on a good team at a lower level to back-up on a good team at a higher level.
Reserve Players - 4-6 slots
David Estrada and Miguel Montano are both going to be on the team, but may have to take small pay cuts to stay. Though I could see a use of allocation dollars to offset the loss in pay.
Servando Carrasco is the only non-Alonso/Levesque as a CDM
Lamar Neagle probably takes the opportunity to come home. Trialists don't stay with a club that long to be cut. If they have to offer more money one could swap he and Earls.
Let's pause a moment, because that's 28. There is a thought that Seattle will only keep 28 so that they could get 70k$ in Allocation. While a 3rd keeper is a need do you really think they want cut any of the above players?
But, Seattle doesn't need to sign the 3rd keeper yet. So maybe both Josh Ford and Bryan Meredith are asked to stay on and one slot is left open for the player who wins the role at the Cascadia Summit.
Finally, Seattle could either fill that last slot with the fourth keeper or keep Prieto around.
What it really comes down to is #TheTrialist, Martinez and Neagle and how their contracts work out. Those players will determine if players like Pat Noonan, Graham, Scott are still on the team.
Update: As the abilities of Estrada, White and Fucito probably force Noonan out, and the abilities of Martinez, Earls, and Wahl limit Graham & Scott; Michael Seamon is getting squezzed by TheTrialist, Erik Friberg and maybe Prieto.
Here's a table, with LINKS!, to Joshua Mayers and Stanley Holmes to show how little consensus there is. Each reporter gets compliant in a different way, and I forced myself off the Ford or Meredith and Graham or Scott ledge.
|to 28||to 28||to 28|
|Scott||Jaqua to IL||Ford|