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An early look at the Sounders' depth chart

The Sounders depth chart looks pretty much how it did at the end of last year with a few notable exceptions.

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TUKWILA, Wash. – The Seattle Sounders will train for two more days at Starfire before departing for Marbella, Spain later in the week. In addition to trimming some of the fat from the preseason roster, the Sounders will also pick up a few more key pieces who have so far been non-participants.

Pedro de la Vega is expected to join training on Tuesday, along with midfielder Josh Atencio who had been at USMNT camp where he made his international debut on Saturday. It’s also looking like Nouhou will join the Sounders a bit earlier than expected, as Cameroon is on the verge of being eliminated from the Africa Cup of Nations in the group stage.

Organizational depth chart
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Here’s how each position group is shaping up (expected starters italicized):


Depth chart: Jordan Morris, Raúl Ruidíaz

Also in camp: NA

How settled is this group: This is both the least settled and most shallow positional group. On one hand, I think Brian Schmetzer is being truthful when he says he likes his options here. Morris scored nine goals in 13 starts as a forward last year, while Ruidíaz has been productive when healthy. On the other, there's no obvious third option on the roster and it's almost hard to believe that the Sounders aren't at least planning to add a MLS veteran here.

How will this shake out: Morris effectively beat out Ruidíaz last year and I've not seen anything that would change that dynamic. But the Sounders presumably didn't bring back Ruidíaz and his team-high $3.2 million salary just so he can ride the bench. He's going to get minutes. The bigger question is how the Sounders fill out the depth on the roster. In previous years, Morris was sort of treated as an emergency option, but even then he was a relatively proven commodity. I suppose Rodrigues or Rothrock could fill in if necessary, but I would hope that's not the actual plan.

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