A confession: I'm not your normal Sounders fan.
It all started with 2013, Christmas time. FIFA13 and a kid from Memphis Tennessee who knew nothing about MLS, that's an odd combination. In come the Sounders, a team I chose by chance, and because I loved the XBOX logo on the shirts.
In the game, I fell in love with the likes of a young Fredy Montero who could beat a keeper any day, and guys like Andy Rose, Mauro Rosales, Christian Tieffert, Ozzie Alonso, and Jeff Parke. I never watched a single Sounders game that year, but that roster on that game was a spark for the love I now have.
2014: Watching Oba and Dempsey in real life was amazing. I was really into the team by midseason. Best roster in the league (in my opinion of course). Obviously, we came up short, but man I knew 2015 would be our year.
Well, it wasn't. But you still had to be optimistic leaving 2015 (albeit with a bitter taste in our mouths) and heading into 2016.
BAM!!! Marco Pappa, Andy Rose, Michael Azira, Lamar Neagle, Chad Barret, Kenny Cooper, Gonzalo Pineda, and maybe one more (who I can't recall right now) all left that offseason. A man by the name of Garth Lagerway is now in charge. He brings in OLD European talent to retool the roster in Andreas Ivanschitz and Nelson Valdez, and drafts pretty decent young talent.
BAMMMMMMMMMM!!!! Ah yes, that other fellow that left, a very late departure, who evaded my memory like he evaded MLS defenders, Obafemi Martins.
Personally, I was shocked, not realizing Oba's played for 8 teams as a true professional, and loves to be on the move every few years.
Back to the point, Oba left a huge hole and we had no real proven answers to plug into the lineup. The roster was planned around the beloved duo of Clinfemi or Obadeuce (whichever you preferred), but that deadly attacking combination was no more, Oba half a world away in China.
Nelson Valdez is either hurt or ineffective, or if we're real lucky, both. Jordan Morris is a great young striker, but is being asked to do too much, and him and Dempsey don't seem to pair well together. Ivanschitz is a good left winger, but has been forced to play a creative central role too much this season. Ozzie, older, slower, still a boss though. Roldan? Looking good, but not enough to fix any problems we have. No offense whatsoever 9 times out of 10. I'm not even going into the defense, I believe Evans, Marshall,
Torres (Forza Roman!), and company do their best, usually. Stefan Frei can only stop so many shots.
This team has no midfield depth and a watered down, incoherent offense. And is old at most positions.
I'm no expert, but that's a rough combination..
How the mighty have fallen.