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Depth still a concern after flurry of moves

Most of the big moves are done but roster needs tinkering around edges.

As usual in MLS player movement post-MLS Cup is fast. That remains true even when the team wins MLS Cup. Between the Expansion Draft, waiver draft, re-entry drafts, option declines and trades the Seattle Sounders are left with just 19 players on their roster.

It started rapidly when a long list of 13 players had their options declined. At this time Oalex Anderson, Michael Farfan, Erik Friberg, Herculez Gomez, Andreas Ivanschitz, Darwin Jones, Damion Lowe, Charlie Lyon, Tyrone Mears, Jimmy Ockford, Dylan Remick, Nathan Sturgis and Nelson Valdez will not be Sounders in 2017. There is a chance that Friberg and Mears come back, as Garth Lagerwey says that negotiations are ongoing.

No Sounders were lost during the Expansion or Waiver Drafts. It wasn’t until the Re-Entry Draft when Seattle was impacted by the odder mechanisms of MLS player movement. Bryan Meredith is again a Sounder. Dylan Remick was lost to Houston.

During Christmas week Lagerwey made two other moves. He swapped GAM and TAM in deals that acquired Harrison Shipp from the Montreal Impact and Will Bruin from the Houston Dynamo.

With just 19 players on the roster which means there could be as many as 12 open roster spots (1 player on long term loan to S2 and a new rule allowing 2 additional slots for HGPs).

December 24, 2016 Depth Chart
Dave Clark

While Clint Dempsey is not on the formal injured list his future is an unknown. That may delay some top-end roster decisions. Alonso could be bought down via TAM and Seattle’s brain trust would be allowed to seek another Designated Player. What type of player that is changes based on Dempsey’s expected effectiveness.

There are significant holes, particularly in the central midfield. While Lagerwey expects a couple S2 promotions to contribute as depth other young players could go on loan for experience.

As of now the roster to defend the MLS Cup is younger than the roster that won it, but it is also full of holes. The transfer window doesn’t open for a several weeks so expect more rumors, and the college drafts will take place before then.

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