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Evaluating Sounders’ roster needs entering ‘draft season'

Seattle is going to fill seven to nine roster spots by the time the 2016 season starts. Don't expect much to come via the Waiver or Re-Entry Drafts.

Mike Russell/Sounder at Heart

With all the waived players, option declines and ended contracts Seattle Sounders FC are at just 20 players on the roster. There are a lot of holes to fill. Wide positions are particularly lacking in depth. The team is still trying to re-sign Andy Rose and Andy Craven, but those two don't fill those particular needs.

President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey told Don Ruiz that the club would be unlikely to be active in the Waiver and Re-Entry Drafts.

"We have the waiver draft and the re-entry draft this week. I'm not sure if we'll be active in either one of those. It's possible you'll see additions this calendar year, but more likely it's probably January before the guys start trickling back onto the roster. We have (20) guys signed right now. I can't rule out that we'd add somebody before the new year. But we feel like once you add a college draft pick, some of the other things we're looking at, the roster's going to get filled pretty quickly. We're certainly not going to carry 32 guys again; it's probably going to be more like 27-28, somewhere in that range. So it's only five or six spots, and we already have publicly talked about camp invites out to Sergio Mota and Oalex Anderson and Ashani Fairclough. We've got our Vegas combine coming up next week, where we will look at some college prospects and some younger college players. There are a couple of different avenues, but I think that roster is going to get pretty crowded pretty quickly."

But the team currently lacks international roster spots - Fisher and Martins are the most likely to get green cards soon. So it may make sense for the organization to add one or two value players via these veteran draft systems.

Keepers Fullbacks Centerbacks Center Mids Attacking Mid Forwards
Frei Fisher Evans Alonso Ivanschitz Dempsey
Lyon Mears Lowe Friberg Kovar Jones
Remick Marshall Roldan Mansaray
Ockford Martins
Torres Valdez

Since Lagerwey also indicates that club will not look to trade for players, that leaves the SuperDraft, S2 trialists, potential Homegrown players and signings from abroad to fill the open spots. Looking at those internal options there is some help in the youth and speed areas that club wants to focus on this year, but still the width looks to be provided by converted forwards rather than "true" wingers.

S2 Invitees HGP possibilites
Anderson (F) Morris (F)
Mota (AM) Adekoya (F)
Fairclough (CB) Schweitzer (CM)
Miller (K) Gallagher (CB)
Lange (CB)
Hermann (K)
Craven (F) Olsen (F)

*Craven is listed as an invitee because of his connection to the USL side, his being currently out of contract and undergoing rehab.

With a team tight on international spots, tight to the salary budget because of the four Summer signings (Friberg, Ivanschitz, Haedo Valdez and Torres) and having 7-9 open spaces it will be essential for internal signings/promotions and the SuperDraft to pay off.

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