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Ship's Log, June 10: There's no simple solution

You won't wake up one day and think things are solved.

Last Updated
5 min read
snail by Eli Duke (CC BY-SA 2.0)

At this point it's hard to believe the Sounders are much better than their record. Yes, there was an extreme injury spell that hit the early season hard. But we're at the halfway point of the 2024 regular season and the better part of that half is 3-2-3. That improved form would get them to 44 points (we'll round up).

There may be an Open Cup run, which is fun and great.

But MLS coaches, GMs and players aren't hired and fired based on the Open Cup. If they were, more than eight MLS sides would have been competing this year.

In MLS the regular season and playoffs are what matters. As is, the Seattle Sounders look capable of sneaking into the playoffs barely above the line, playing on the road a lot even if they never advance to the meaningful rounds (which will also be on the road).

It's not good enough.

Blame can go everywhere. There's a saying that lightning doesn't strike twice, but the science says it does. That's because the reason why lightning struck the object the first time remains true, as the energy is in the area.

Similarly, when everything is going wrong (roster construction, injuries, an impotent attack, a mistake-prone defense) the problems are going to be there even if one massive change is made.

Buying out Raul and signing a new DP – sure, that's the start towards building a Club World Cup roster, but it isn't enough to do more than energize the fan base for a bit. Even Inter Messi was just a .500 team after signing him last year.

Firing Schmetzer – the next head coach will face the same roster problems.

Changing the formation – things have been bad in two structures so far, as it isn't the structure that's limiting the attack.

Benching former stars – the youth on the bench may be good for their age, but too many of them on the field means more losses than wins.

Firing Waibel – another GM will have the same salary structure limiting the ability to make substantial moves.

Firing assistant coaches – baseball teams do this as a sign that things are wrong, but not because it makes a difference.

Yes, fans want blood. They want a sign of something that shows the organization is pushing towards the heights that we all enjoyed together. But there's not a simple solution.

There's not going to be a fall guy.

No one man's blood will be metaphorically spilled to fix the team.

This is who the Seattle Sounders are, until they are not this. It's going to take a lot of change to correct the series of issues that were put in place to win a CCL title without a single loss.

It's going to cost a lot of money to overcome a few clearly sunk costs. It's going to need another organization to do what Caleb Porter did and take underperforming talent away. The changes in tactics, substitution patterns, rest and recovery will be less obvious but just as necessary.

You won't wake up one day and think things are solved.

At a point in the future, you'll be able to look back and say, "That's when our championship run started."

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Catching up on Sounder at Heart

Here's what you need to know about how our teams performed.


Next match: June 15 hosting Minnesota United at 7:30 pm PDT, celebrating the 50th anniversary


Next match: June 16 hosting Portland Thorns at 1 pm PDT, celebrating Juneteenth


Next match: Travelling to The Town FC on June 11 at 5 pm PDT (MLS Season Pass)


Next match: Travelling to Union Omaha on June 13 in USL Jägermeister Cup play on ESPN+ at 5 pm PDT.

USL2 teams

After Tacoma beat Ballard in Memorial Stadium the Stars take charge of the Northwest. Midlakes and West Seattle both lost on the road in Oregon.

Tuesday: West Seattle at Lane United
Wednesday: FC Olympia hosts United PDX
Friday: Ballard at Lane United and Midlakes hosts West Seattle

Looking back at the news

Everything else you need to know

Valencia fans who insulted Vinícius are first to be convicted for racism abuse in Spanish soccer.

FC Dallas is the third team to fire a coach this season. About six MLS coaches get fired during the season from 2020 to the present.

Ancelotti didn't want to compete in the Men's Club World Cup. Real Madrid is going to anyway.

NWSL Power Rankings: KC Current go top as NC Courage in free fall. Reign fall continues.

Rise in global transfers and fees demonstrate increasing options for women in soccer.

Chicago Red Stars set NWSL attendance record at Wrigley Field, open door to future special events. That big number was part of a strong weekend for the NWSL, which is up about 10% on the season.

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