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Infrequently Asked Questions: We're On A Break Edition

With the Seattle Sounders enjoying an extended break thanks to Copa America, the oft loved, rarely maligned iFAQ series makes its triumphant return.

Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Oh my goodness, it's time for another Infrequently Asked Questions. If there exist any questions that you may have and I have not provided an answer to them, then by all means, leave a comment below and I'll address your question to the best of my abilities. Of course, any and all questions listed below are actual questions I've been asked and I totally didn't make this up. So, gird your loins and bury your gold (but leave a map) because shit's about to get real.

Q. I don't even remember the last time we had an iFAQ. What's this whole thing about?

A. Well, dear question asker, Infrequently Asked Questions is just that, it's about answering questions that are asked infrequently. It's kind of right there in the name.

Q. Have we had these before? It seems kinda stupid.

A. YFI! Yeah, we have, the most recent was an article detailing the CBA negotiations. But we've also had a few pop up every now and again.

Q. That just read like shameless self-promotion.

A. That doesn't look like a question.

Q. What does YFI stand for?

A. YFI stands for "Your Face Is."

Q. Wait, what? Your Face Is? That's not even a complete sentence.

A. YFI (not a complete sentence). And next time you don't ask a question, I'm not going to respond.

Q. Why?

A. Because that's the whole point of this. You ask a question, I answer it.

Q. Why?

A. Because sometimes there are questions that linger in the backs of people's minds and those questions deserve answers.

Q. Why?

A. Because as your teachers growing up surely said to you over and over and over again, there's no such thing as a stupid question.

Q. Why would they say that to me specifically?

A. Because you sure do ask a lot of stupid questions.

Q. But I thought you said there's no such thing as a stupid question?

A. I didn't say that. I said your teachers probably said that.

Q. So what am I supposed to ask questions about?

A. I dunno, how about the Seattle Sounders?

Q. Oh. Okay. What superhero team is the Seattle Sounders most like?

A. I'm not answering this question, nerd.

Q. Why not? It's a valid question.

A. It is a valid question, but it's a rabbit hole we don't really want to go down. If I said The Avengers then you'd ask me which iteration. Same thing with Justice League, is it JLA or JLI. I could even say Alpha Flight and you'd not know what I was talking about. But to just give you an answer, I'm going to go with Guardians of the Galaxy, and my bullshit justification is that they're just a ragtag group of anti-heros who band together to form a whole greater than its parts.

Q. I was gonna say Avengers because both have Captain America.


Q. I said, I was gonna say Avengers because they both have Captain America.


Q. Hello?

A. Hey.

Q. Did you hear me?

A. Yeah, I heard you, but you didn't ask a question.

Q. Seriously? Ugh, you're such a jerk.

A. Yes seriously. This article isn't titled "Hot Takes By Some Nerd" for a reason.

Q. Fine. I'll ask questions. What do you think is the most undervalued skill in soccer?

A. A quality first touch.

Q. Was that just a video of Gyasi Zardes and how bad his first touch is?

A. Clearly.

Q. Don't you think that's pretty harsh?

A. Not as harsh as it is to watch his awful first touch.

Q. Okay, that's fair. I think we can agree on that. So, do you think the Sounders will make the playoffs this year?

A. If the Sounders maintain their current form, then no, they won't make the playoffs. However, the results that Seattle has achieved so far this season is not indicative of their overall level of quality. Through 13 games they only have 16 points. That rate would get them only 42 points over the course of the season. The "magic number" for getting into the playoffs in the Western Conference over the past few years is between 48 & 49 points. What this means is that if the Sounders maintained their current form but somehow managed to turn two losses into two victories, that might be enough to squeak into the playoffs. However, if the Sounders somehow manage to turn their tide of bad luck that has plagued them this season, the playoffs are definitely attainable.

Q. You didn't really answer my question. With your deep pool of knowledge and infinite snark, do you think the Sounders will make the playoffs?

A. Yes, I have faith that the Sounders will make the playoffs. They only need to earn about 1.55 - 1.60 points per game to reach that magic number. That's doable.

Q. If the Sounders make the playoffs, which teams from the West do you have missing out on postseason action?

A. I don't think it would surprise anybody if Houston Dynamo didn't qualify, but I'm going to also have to go with Sporting Kansas City. Then we're looking at some quality teams who won't make it. I would guess Vancouver Whitecaps may miss out, since their offense is predicated on diving and earning penalty kicks. That's not a recipe for success. I'm also going to go out on a limb and guess LA Galaxy. Sure, they currently have a +11 goal differential, but that's buoyed by the fact that in their five wins (that's right, they only have 5 wins, same as San Jose Earthquakes, Portland Timbers, Sporting KC, and the Sounders) they have averaged 4 goals per win, which has them scoring only 7 goals in the other 8 games they have played. They've done all this too with their main, aging stars all healthy. If one of their key players go down, their season could spiral out of control.

Q. So you have Portland Timbers making the playoffs?

A. Portland has been very unlucky with injuries and other in-game happenings. Just like with Seattle, bad luck is not sustainable nor indicative of a team's true abilities.

Q. Would you rather have the Sounders win the MLS Cup or have the Timbers be last place for five consecutive seasons?

A. I'd rather the Sounders win the MLS Cup. The Seattle-Portland rivalry is exactly what is needed in MLS. It brings a level of excitement and legitimacy, without hooliganism, that elevates this sport in America. If one of the teams is honestly bad, like end-of-the-line Chivas bad, then the rivalry loses some of its luster and passion.

Q. Do you think the Sounders will sign some new players during the summer transfer window?

A. Absolutely yes. Look at what the Sounders accomplished last year in an effort to make the playoffs: they signed Erik Friberg, Andreas Ivanschitz, Roman Torres, and Nelson Haedo Valdez. This year Seattle finds itself with an open DP slot, TAM money to spend, and holes in the roster, and given the willingness of the Sounders to fill up all their DP slots, it's practically a guarantee someone will be brought in.

Q. What about the possibility of players leaving? Do you think that will happen?

A. With the progress Jordan Morris has shown, I wouldn't be surprised if the Sounders are entertaining the possibility of a future without Valdez. But getting rid of Valdez this season is a bit more complicated than deciding he's not useful. The Sounders would either need to trade (to a team with an open DP spot, willing to take on his hefty salary and overlook his lack of production), transfer (same situation except for not needing the DP spot) or cut him (eating his salary while not even opening up salary cap space). Which is a long way of saying, he's probably here for the rest of the year for better or worse.

Q. What about Clint Dempsey? Is there a chance he goes?

A. Not in the middle of the season, no. Clint Dempsey was one of Joe Roth's chosen ones: a top-five list of players he most wanted to come to MLS to play in Seattle. It's tough to say how much control Roth has now over big decisions like this any longer, but in his esteem, a player of Dempsey's status can only be replaced by a player of equal or greater status, one of the other four players on that list.

Q. A list? I'm intrigued. Who are the other four players on that list?

A. Nobody knows for sure, but a good guess would be Chicharito. The other three are obviously Zlatan, Zlatan, and Zlatan.

Q. Zlatan, man, he can do anything.


Q. Oh, right, a question. Who invented liquid soap and why?

A. William Sheppard patented liquid soap in 1865 probably for the purposes of cleaning things up.

Q. Can entropy ever be reversed?

A. There is insufficient data for a meaningful answer.

Q. How many broken bones is Zach Scott playing through right now?

A. It depends on whether you would count a hairline fracture as a break. Either way, the answer is zero.

Q. Which Sounders player could successfully get to Mount Doom and destroy the Ring of Power?

A. It would take a player who is devoid of corruption, who is pure of heart, so obviously Erik Friberg.

Q. How are figs made?

A. To make a long answer short, wasps pollinate the fig flower, die inside of it, get its body broken up by enzymes and then absorbed into the fig fruit. So while you're not technically eating wasps when you're eating a fig because the wasp body dissolved, you're still eating wasps.

Q. Why do identical twins have different finger prints?

A. Are you not going to ask me any more Sounders questions?

Q. I dunno, I kinda asked all the questions I had about the Sounders, so I figured I'd ask questions I was curious about. Can you answer the finger print one still?

A. I guess. Even though identical twins have the same DNA, they're not identical on a cellular basis, since not all physical aspects are determined by genes. Fingerprints are formed sort-of-randomly while in the womb and can be influenced by hormones and other factors.

Q. Oh, I thought of a Sounders question! Which Sounders player has surprised you the most so far this season?

A. Osvaldo Alonso. Along with many others, I thought Ozzie's best days were behind him, that injuries had made him a step slower, a little worse, but this season he's been fantastic. I think another candidate would be Aaron Kovar, but I predicted Kovar to be 2015's surprise player of the year, so the fact that he's performing well a year later doesn't really surprise me too much.

Q. If I keep my eyes open when I sneeze, will my eyeballs pop out?

A. No, no they won't. The air passages in the throat and nose that are involved in sneezing are not connected to anything behind the eye. It is therefore not possible to create enough pressure from sneezing to pop your eyeballs out.

Q. Honestly, that's a relief. I've been training to sneeze with my eyes open for a long time now, but I close my eyes every time.

A. Okay, again, not a question.

Q. Sometimes I even try to take a picture of myself mid-sneeze.

A. This does not surprise me in the least bit.

Q. Oh, I've been meaning to ask: What's Theseus' Paradox?

A. Theseus' Paradox is a question that asks whether an object remains the same object if it has had all of its components replaced. It comes from Plutarch in Life of Theseus in which it is asked if a ship that has been restored by replacing every single wooden part remains the same original ship. This is modernized by the fact that the cells in a human body go through a finite cycle of life and death, eventually replacing themselves with newer cells. So it's possible that none of the cells you were born with exist today, which begs the question if you're still the same person.

Q. Whoa.

A. Tell me about it.

Q. Go Sounders?

A. Damn right.

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