Dark Clouds Can Hide The Sun
Seriously. Sigi Schmid's Sounders aren't dominating as the fans and team had hoped. They look merely average, which in MLS means competing for only two trophies (MLS Cup, US Open Cup). Sure, it would be nice if they competed for the Supporters Shield as well, but we know why this is true. The reality of injuries means that at least 3 starting quality players have been left off the 18 due to injury from late April to the present. Every game, at least 3, sometimes many more.
It has been pointed out on twitter, but it should be pointed here as well. In their last five games only two teams have been better than Seattle's 8 points in 5 matches. Just two. From week three on Seattle has a Points Per Match of 1.62. Since that Colorado Rapids match when the fortunes of the team took that shift Seattle has 13 points in 9 played for only 1.44 v their overall PPM of 1.38. That is a great display of depth from the squad. This is a team that has gotten through a rough patch and looks likely to be able to maintain a decent pace of 1.60 PPM or better even without a great signing or two combined with the return of O'Brian White.
This is still a team that is favored to win matches against two-thirds of the league by Sagarin. A team with the 6th best record v top 4 teams. The 7th best v top 8 teams. That's an indicator that it stands a chance against any team, any day - Playoffs included. That again is without talent additions.
Sports Club Stats (I prefer their 50/50 method as it recognizes the parity of the league and isn't built on false models) has Seattle with a 64.1% chance at the Playoffs. But the goal is obviously more than that. Sounders FC has a 24% chance at a protected Western Conference slot, and still a 3% at the Supporters Shield. Still without adding talent or getting healthy.
The sky is not falling. The depth has purely displayed itself as players like Tyson Wahl, Lamar Neagle, Servando Carrasco and Mike Fucito have shown that they are capable of starting and competing in League play. Each has used the Reserve League (5-0-0 another sign of depth) to show their ability to not just be in the 18, but to start and succeed. Today's Reserve match is at 11AM at Starfire and will be live blogged.
Seattle has already brought in two trialists and we will see probably a dozen total. There is almost certain to be a designated player added, and depending on what cuts/trades are made another player or two who belong in the 18.
Do we want more? Of course. But the situation is not dire. The coaching is not horrid. The depth was not a myth.
|Los Angeles Galaxy||31||17||1.82||62||22||1.29||14||0.82||8||11|
|Real Salt Lake||21||12||1.75||60||14||1.17||7||0.58||7||5|
|New York Red Bulls||22||14||1.57||53||21||1.50||13||0.93||8||7|
|San Jose Earthquakes||19||13||1.46||50||20||1.54||16||1.23||4||13|
|New England Revolution||13||14||0.93||32||11||0.79||18||1.29||-7||3|
|Sporting Kansas City||10||12||0.83||28||16||1.33||20||1.67||-2||6|