Saturday the 2014 season starts with training sessions at Starfire. The club embarks on its 40th/6th season with the goal being the same as it ever was, winning the MLS Cup - another trophy are two would be nice as well. With so many changes from the 2013 roster the staff at Sounder at Heart will be looking at a few things with an intense eye.
- While shape doesn't dictate style, there are some significant changes in shape likely in store. Seattle Sounders FC looks to either be an asymmetrical 4-diamond-2 or a 4-1-2-3. Both seem likely to be a shift in style and shape, in varying degrees.
- Who takes advantage of the absences of the United States National Teamers? Without Dempsey, Evans and Yedlin a few men have the chance to earn training time with the First XI.
- What will be done with the overstock in forwards? Eight contracted players are primarily forwards. That's a wee bit on the heavy side of roster construction. Will a couple be cut or is the path to a 4-3-3 variant?
- Maybe this is 4b, but Kenny Cooper is the big attacking addition. He can fit in as a targety type, a wide type or a poacher. This will define style more than shape, but it is a clearly a key to the offense of 2014.
- If path A is through Clint Dempsey, what is path B and C (since he'll miss some games)?
- Chad Marshall is going to start. Will his partner be picked based on style or overall quality?
- Kovar and Okoli are HGPs two and three. Can they follow Yedlin to instant success or will they be more normal young additions to the club?
- Hahnemann is wearing the #1, can a man older than me start at keeper? Or will Stefan Frei show that promise just needed quality in front of him?
- Trialists come and go. Can one become The Trialist: Part Deux.
- Jeremiah will lean on how many things?
Not all of these will be answered tomorrow. In fact none will. It will be a six week journey. We will try to help you navigate these rough waters.