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Ship’s Log, Dec. 4: Change and re-birth

Sounders roster decisions, a rumored signing, Crystal Dunn’s possible future club, and so much more.

Last Updated
3 min read
Max Aquino Photography / Sounder at Heart

The Sounders, like all but one team will in the end, fell short of their ultimate goal for the season. Every team works over the course of the season towards the goal of lifting the MLS Cup trophy and claiming the title of champions. There are other trophies up for grabs, and teams may have more immediate or short-term goals, but that’s what everyone’s after in the end.

However the season ended, the off-season holds a particular kind of magic for fans and teams alike. The period between the end of one season and the beginning of another lacks games and opportunities to see the team you love on the field, but it’s full to the brim with potential. Anything could happen during the off-season. Some players will leave, and others will arrive to fill the spaces left on a roster. Young players may take a step forward and make good on the promise of their abilities. Next season can always be the season for your team.

First, though, the coaching staff and front office have to decide whether what they did accomplish in the season now past was a step in the right direction, or evidence of a deeper problem that needs fixing. The Sounders found a new way to play, implementing a counter-pressing system, and there’s every reason to think that’s the path forward from a stylistic/systemic perspective. Now with players departing, it’s time to bring in new players to help elevate the team and make the most of the new system. The Sounders will need to add more goals – their 41 goals scored in the regular season were tied for the second-lowest among Western Conference playoff teams – whether that’s by getting more out of existing players or new acquisitions.

Right now, the sky’s the limit. The Sounders have a very big window ahead of them, as they enter the off-season looking to spend in a meaningful way for the first time since acquiring Raul Ruidíaz in 2018. The landscape of the league, especially in terms of transfer spending, has changed pretty significantly since then. We could be in for a very different offseason than what’s come before as the team hopefully steps into this new era for the club. The rumor mill is already working, and we’re only just getting started.

- Tim

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Everything you need to know

It’s been a busy couple days, so you may have missed a few things on the site:

Looking back at the weekend's news

Players caught up in an embezzlement scandal, MLS salary rules lead to some difficult choices, and unacceptable behavior from “fans” after the Eastern Conference final.

Baltimore Blast players suspended after former GM accused of embezzlement Major Arena Soccer League side Baltimore Blast have suspended five players in connection with an investigation into former GM Gianni Tuminello.

LAFC and Carlos Vela want to stay together. He was their first player, and has been a vital part of the club, but his Designated Player tag may come between them.

Alvas Powell was the subject of racist abuse in the form of racist messages on social media following the FC Cincinnati loss to Columbus Crew in the Eastern final.

Pacific Northwest Soccer

Arrivals, departures, and the NCAA Tournament.

Tacoma Defiance added two new players to the roster, signing Academy player Snyder Brunell to a pro deal and bringing in Japanese attacker Yu Tsukanome from NPSL side Dakota Fusion.

Crystal Dunn is a free agent. Every NWSL team should be trying to convince her to join, but Orlando Pride are taking a real run at it.

Oregon State have reached the Final Four in the men’s NCAA tournament for the first time after beating North Carolina.

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