The Dire Days saw Seattle Sounders FC without several players for most of the 1-8 stretch. There were injuries (Frei, Alonso, Martins, Gonzalez) and National Team calls (Dempsey, Evans, Pappa). And, just over the past few weeks, the club added four major players during the secondary transfer window.
Let's look at a typical 18 during the Dire Days.
XI: Perkins; Remick, Scott, Marshall, Mears; Thomas, Rose, Azira, Roldan; Neagle Barrett
Bench: Lyon, Ockford, Jones, Fisher, Pineda, Kovar, Craven
Now, let's look at an expected 18 post-transfer window, with a recognition that this is an early guess and not everyone's healthy. There will also be heavy squad rotation during a busy August, when the CONCACAF Champions League is in full swing.
XI: Frei; Remick, Marshall, Torres, Mears; Ivanschitz, Evans, Alonso, Valdez; Dempsey, Martins (that's only 4 same players)
Bench: Perkins, Scott, Gonzalez, Friberg, Rose, Pappa, Neagle
That's only nine members of the 18 that are the same. Quality players like Pineda, Thomas, Roldan and Barrett might not make gameday rosters even if healthy.
Another way to look at the roster is to look at the Ideal XI from the 2014 squad that won the Double (Supporters' Shield and US Open Cup) that are not expected starters on the current team. Those players are Neagle, Gonzalez, Scott, Pineda and Pappa. This ignores the Yedlin to Mears shift, which is neutral at worst.
All of the preseason statements about depth (that were tested and proven to be exaggerated, and many by from my fingers to your eyes) are now probably true.
When you take the massive work that Hanauer, Lagerwey & Co did in the transfer window — and combine that with no Gold Cup and an eventual (oh, please be true) end to the injury bug — there is very little about 2015 Sounders 2.0 that is the same as the failed project of 2015 Sounders 1.5. There's even a significant difference between 2015 Sounders 1.0 and the edition that is going into the CCL stretch run. The good news? The Sounders still look like a viable playoff team.