No Jordan Morris. Will Bruin is in concussion protocol with his return in doubt until he returns. Clint Dempsey is a hybrid forward/midfielder who will miss at least one game. The Seattle Sounders, who many predicted to be one of the best teams in the West, have no attack and there doesn’t seem to be a signing coming today, or tomorrow, or next week. Let’s brainstorm some ways to solve that problem.
Roman Torres up top: Sometimes Torres ranges forward. There are times when he stays up there for a long period of time. He is a decent crosser for a centerback, and his hold up play is quite good. I guess if Seattle wanted to create a centerback problem they could attempt to use Torres to solve the forward problem.
Sign Felix Chenkam: The most traditional target forward type on S2, Chenkam does offer a bit of hold up play and has decent speed. He can also go on goalless streaks, not scoring from August 13 of last year until he was picked to slot home a penalty at Cheney last weekend.
Sign David Olsen: Olsen had an extraordinary first game of 2018 with S2 against T2. The 22-year-old former Seattle U player notched 4 goals and 2 assists in 2017, playing basically as a USL version of Dempsey. He generally works best as a withdrawn forward, but that means someone else has to play, too.
Sign David Estrada: It’s clear he loves the Sounders — he wears 74. His effort earned him a contract with S2 and as an Academy coach, but he hasn’t been a forward for a while and had just 11 goals in the last two years with the Charlotte Independence. The 30-year-old was a great signing for the young S2 squad.
Nicolas Lodeiro up top: If you like the Lodeiro that contributes on defense and flings passes from everywhere on the field you’ll hate the idea of him as a solo striker. But he would be fouled in deeper areas, which might help Seattle out.
Trade for Krisztián Nemeth: The DP is on the outs in New England, probably because he’s 29, expensive and mediocre.
Start Lamar Neagle: Neagle can inject energy in short bursts, but his longer runouts this year show that he doesn’t have the energy to contribute for more than a half. He also is best in a two forward set, but Seattle seems to lack two forwards.
Sign Ugo Okoli: The former USL MVP is still a free agent. He struggled for playing time with NYCFC in 2017 and only scored a single goal. That team also used a 4-2-3-1 with Okoli expected to play as a lone forward.
Talk Fucito out of retirement: The Harvard golf coach is a little more stout than he was in his playing days. Maybe his low center-of-gravity can contribute to hold up play.
4-6-0: This is the least bad idea, and probably the only way to make the offense work if the team is without Morris, Bruin and Dempsey. They can probably get some wins using this kind of 4-2-4-0 thing, where each attacking midfielder is expected to step up into the 18 and strike on goal at times. It also means the team is content to wait. They should not wait. They need more talent if they are going to compete for multiple trophies in 2018.
Acquire Uche Ikpeazu on loan: He’s Cambridge United’s best attacking player, a 12-goal-scoring target man who is just 23. Ikpeazu is available on a free in the summer, and as a League Two player he is likely quite cheap. Yes, he’s just a League Two player on a team that Adrian Hanauer owns a tiny fraction of. But his style of play, while maybe not up to MLS standards, seems to fit the Sounders’ needs.