In what may be considered pretty close to a worst-case scenario, the Seattle Sounders announced that backup goalkeeper Terry Boss was placed on the Disabled LIst, meaning he'll miss the rest of the season. Boss suffered a concussion while playing for the Puerto Rico national team last Friday. It was his second concussion in the past six week, as he suffered a similar injury against Manchester United in the July friendly.
This leaves the Sounders without an experienced backup to starting goalkeeper Kasey Keller. Rookie Josh Ford, whose only experience is in Reserve League games, is the only other goalkeeper on the roster. This leaves the Sounders with a handful of options, none of which are ideal.
The option most people seem interested in is the possibility of signing Bryan Meredith, who has trained with the Sounders off and on throughout the year after being drafted in the third round of this most recent SuperDraft. Meredith helped lead the Kitsap Pumas to the PDL title, but has returned to Monmouth University in order to get his degree. Signing Meredith wouldn't necessarily be the best option, though, as it does nothing to address the Sounders' lack of experienced backups.
The other relatively easy option would be to bring in one of the league's pool goalkeepers. Currently, that pool is made up of Kevin Guppy, Chris Konopka and Chris Sharpe. Of those three, only Konopka has played for a MLS team this year, allowing two goals in a start for the New York Red Bulls on Aug. 13. He has previously played for the Kansas City Wizards and last year made 14 appearances for Ireland's Waterford United. Guppy spent several games with Chivas USA last year, making one appearance. This might be the cheapest option, but also does not really address the who veteran thing.
The other option would be to go outside the league and sign a goalkeeper. Probably the most interesting player who fits this mold is Marcus Hahnemann, who is still without a contract after being released by Wolverhampton. The big problem with this idea is that Hahnemann would have to go through allocation, and the Sounders currently occupy the final slot. Chivas USA, who currently occupies the top spot, does not need a goalkeeper, but would probably try to exact a princely sum from the Sounders.
Another possibility might be Jerzy Dudek, the former Real Madrid goalkeeper who had been linked to the Sounders earlier this year, and is also without a contract. Someone like Dudek would probably be expensive, but at this point in the season there's really no reason for the Sounders to save money. The big question would probably be whether or not the Sounders see him as a solution beyond this year and whether or not he'd be willing to sign a short-term deal.
Finding an experienced backup is probably the Sounders' preference at this point. Even though there are just seven MLS matches left, there are five other matches still on their schedule and that's not even including the playoffs. It seems highly unlikely, nor is it advisable, that the Sounders will want to use Keller in more than a couple of those non-MLS games.
What would you like to see the Sounders do?