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Depth Chart: 3 XIs - Don't Let Me Down

Halfway through their preseason the Seattle Sounders shook up the old depth charts quite a bit. It isn't just about the trade for Eddie Johnson (after which Sigi basically confirmed a return to big/small forward pairing), but there are talents better than expected who are rocketing up in our perception. Some are also falling. This is our current best guess of Sigi Schmid's vision of the depth chart. It is based on an ideal First XI where "if there was a must win today and everyone who is healthy is fit?"

That ideal doesn't exist in reality, but it gives us a bit of an image of where things stand. Moving up the chart are Christian Sivebaek, Patrick Ianni, Bryan Meredith, David Estrada, and Marc Burch. If Seattle plays in 40 or so games Sivebaek could have 35+ appearances, even if only a dozen or so starts. His skill set is pretty unique and really the only question is about adaptation to physical play. Ianni seems to be used more like he was in 2010, rather than his 2011 down year. Meredith is a young keeper beating out a vet. Estrada's preseason impresses more every week and his make/break year could raise league wide judgements of Schmid, et al's college talent evaluation. Burch had a bad rap coming from D.C. United, but his skills may translate better to the Seattle system. He's better in the attack and should see more time than previously thought.

Falling down the chart either from lack of fitness to play in training games or just flat getting beat out by players with more 2012 upside are a mix of older and younger players. Sammy Ochoa, even before the trade, was losing playing time and now looks to get even less. Michael Tetteh is rarely seeing the pitch. Babayele Sodade is in the same situation and at best is the 3rd target forward and overall may not start even in a Reserve heavy match. Two veterans aren't getting long looks and are in their post-peak period so it isn't a surprise that Zach Scott and Roger Levesque's playing time in training is on a downward trend. They are known quantities and at this point both are expected to be in a gameday 18.

Let's review the structure. The title of the post is a play on 311. Don't read too much into it, maybe a little though. The top half is the role at which we see the player getting the most starting minutes in competitive (non Reserve) play. It also now shows players in bold who would be in that ideal 18. Players in orange are currently injured and not training fully (Steve Zakuani is on the edge of leaving this status). The lower portion is ranking of players in roles with regards to flexibility. Bold is an indicator that said player would be a starter in that role on a majority of MLS sides. Standard script means that the player could start in secondary competitions on a team with a chance to win. Italics means they would be a reserve role or emergency usage. There is a also a table showing a short list of possible Homegrown Player signings. These are roughly ranked, but primarily it is a list of names so you can get use to these names, and maybe see them play for Sounders U23s.


































Injured List: Total On Roster: 33

Depth by Role

White Forwards Wide Mids Center Mids Full Backs Center Backs Keeper
Ford Montero Rosales Alonso Johansson Parke Gspurning
Johnson Zakuani Evans Gonzalez Hurtado Meredith
Ochoa Fernandez Fernandez Burch Ianni Weber
White Sivebaek Carrasco Scott Scott Ford
Rosales Estrada Rosales Duran Duran
Estrada Evans Seamon Sanyang Burch
Sivebaek Cato Rose Levesque Harlinton
Cato Levesque Estrada Estrada Sanyang
Levesque Caskey Caskey Sivebaek
Sodade Tetteh Sanyang Tetteh
Potential HGP: Okoli Kovar Palodichuk Yedlin Lange Herman
Jones Cox Peterson Gallagher

Readers should quickly notice that there are only 33 players in camp. If the Sounders wanted to they could move all three injured players to the disabled list (injured reserve, injured list) and start the season without cutting a single player. Yes, that would mean a roster slot for Harlinton Gutierres (man of many spellings), the young Real Espana reservist. There is incentive for Seattle to have only 28 or 29 total (healthy?) players on roster as they would get some allocation money so one should expect a couple cuts, but the team may be done. Remember though, the team would only be buying time as a player on the Injured List can return after six MLS games have passed. There is also no salary cap relief for a player on either the short-term or long-term Injured List. Any replacement would be at one of the minimum salary levels.

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