The Sounders are 6 points behind Portland for the last playoff spot. Can the Sounders make up that difference with 6 games to go? The odds are better than you think. Here is the rest of the schedule:
* at home versus Houston (currently in 12th place)
* at home versus Austin (currently in 2nd place)
* at Vancouver (currently in 9th place)
* at home versus Cincinnati (currently in 8th place in the East)
* at Sporting Kansas City (currently in 13th place)
* finish up at home versus San Jose (currently in last place)
On paper, we could win all of these games except maybe against Austin. That is 15 points out of 18. But I think we could even win that one depending how the team does against Houston. If the Sounders lose or tie against Houston, then I think the Austin game will be very tough and so will the rest of the games. If we come out with a solid win or something like a 4-0 result, I think the momentum can carry over to the Austin game. Then the wins could fall in place like dominoes. That is my hope... anyway.
One negative thing is that only one team that the Sounders still have to play that is ahead of them in the standings and is also fighting for a playoff spot. That is Vancouver. So that game is also a must-win game for the team.
Now to how we got here. Injuries. Simply that. Specifically when we lost Joao Paulo for the year.. who is an important piece to the Sounders success. To me, once that diagnosis was made, I would have thought the Sounders would have gone out to find a veteran player that could come into the team and make up for that loss.
Instead the team went with an experiment to see if an unproven and untested teenager.could replace him. When that teenager goes down with an injury as well, then I would think the experimentation should have been over. To me, that would have been another good time to bring someone in that could help bolster the team and "stop the bleeding" as they say.
But nothing was done while most MLS teams and our rivals went out and got players to improve themselves. The signing of Gareth Bale should have had been a big wake up call. Yet nothing was done to bring anyone in.
A short time ago, I posted an article on 3 players that the Sounders could sign to help the team make the playoffs and win MLS Cup.
While the MLS transfer window is now closed, I do think that the Sounders can still claim players off of waivers that were released by a MLS team or they can sign a free agent player. Two of those players that I mentioned in my article, Castillo and Sigurjonsson, are still free agents and can be signed right now, provided they get their green card quickly.
So to sum it up... I was very disappointed when the Sounders GM basically saying that they were unable to sign anyone. If you go to the transfer market and look up free agents... these are players that do no have an existing contract with another club and can be signed right now... look for yourself.. there are lots of players out there ->
(select "Transfers & Rumours" and then pick "Free Agent")
I hate to sound so negative but I have been watching the Sounders since about 1994 and I have been involved in soccer since the mid-1970s when I was a 13 year old kid playing soccer while living in Germany. My passion is soccer and I love the Sounders and I want them to do well every year. I think that there was a missed opportunity by the Sounders upper management to do something besides stay with the current formula... which, by-the-way, only took 1 point of 9 during the last roadtrip when they could have taken all 3 games.
Take care... stay safe... and Go Sounders.