I want this posting to go side-by-side with Nimajneb's article on the Sounders' stuttering offense so please read that post as well.
This is my first posting of the 2017 season. I have resisted until now because I wanted to see what this team is made of.
First impression: lots of early injuries to key players.
Second impression: we are missing a good winger.
Third impression: they never give up
Early injuries, especially to Brad Evans, has put our newest Swedish midfielder in the back playing defense. He has done a great job back there but it shows how weak we are in the backline.
Portland during the offseason got a great wingman (Sebastian Blanco) as their 3rd DP and just by adding him has ignited their season. I had always thought ever since we lost Steve Zakuani that this team is sorely missing that kind of player.
However, just by doing four things should solve our team's problems. #1: Move Joevin Jones from left back to left wing. #2: Obtain a very good left back. #3: Move Roldan to right back when Brad Evans is healthy, #4: When Brad Evans is healthy, put him in as our new right midfielder.
#1: Unfortunately JJ is not able to show his offensive skills enough because he is often in the back protecting the flanks. Which means that he is often tied down with trying to defend instead of leading counter-attacks. JJ is a natural winger and he plays that position for his national team. When he runs forward and acts like a winger he is very dangerous.
#2: The Sounders need a very good left back but he doesn't have to be a DP but someone in the mold of Leo Gonzalez. When LG was at his best, no attacker could make plays in his area because he shut them down quickly. I just don't think JJ will ever be that kind of defender.
#3 and #4: I also would like to see Roldan move to right back since he is a very strong defender. I don't see him providing the same kind of crosses that Evans can make so pushing Evans into the right midfielder role gives our best all-around player a chance to be just that.
Besides, whenever an attacking substitute comes onto the field during a game, then our right back comes off and Roldan is then moved to right back. It makes sense to me to make the RB spot Roldan's to lose.
So the team that I would like to see, if everyone is healthy, to look like this:
Roldan-Torres-Marshall-(new left back)