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Ship’s Log, June 3: Time to build for Club World Cup is now

With great power comes great responsibility

Last Updated
5 min read
Mike Fiechtner / Sounders FC Communications

Our first teams took the weekend off. The Sounders got to watch another MLS team fail to do what they’ve done — in Concacaf. Columbus got worked by a better team playing at significant elevation. Reign sent six of their players to international duty.

Neither side is set up well for the rest of the month. Both are struggling in the 2024 season, with the Sounders one match short of the halfway point.

The Sounders are tight against the cap, don’t have a DP spot open and only a single U22 slot available as well.

And yet, they’ll possibly be hosting matches in the Club World Cup in 2025. Against absolute giants. Here at Lumen we could see matches that matter.

We already saw what an unprepared Seattle Sounders squad does in the Club World Cup – a 1-0 loss to Al Ahly, who would then lose 4-1 to Real Madrid. Madrid are currently the best club in the world. Over the weekend they took another UCL title. Real has five Club World Cup titles.

They could play here. It would be stunning and wonderful. The Sounders would lose. That’s not really in doubt.

But, the 2025 Club World Cup will have group stages for the first time ever.

The Sounders will play at least one Euro side, either an Asian or African side, and then likely a club from the Americas (or Auckland). An MLS team should be capable of beating at least one of their opponents, especially on home turf (grass).

Unless they aren't prepared.

“We will do what we need to do to have as competitive of a squad as we can for Club World Cup" - Majority Owner Adrian Hanauer to Jeremiah Oshan.

The project to build a squad that is 12 months away had to already start.

It’s not going well. Currently the Sounders aren’t built to compete with the mediocre teams in MLS, let alone the giants of the world. Advanced metrics (Sagarin=14th, ASA=19th) like the Sounders more than the actual standings (20th). Not enough that the Sounders look good, just enough that they don’t look awful.

If Seattle wants to play well against an Ahly or a Urawa Red Diamonds or a Fluminense or a Red Bull Salzburg they have two transfer windows to figure that out.

That’s basically no time.

They cannot be late. The eyes for the world will be on Seattle for those three games, ideally four.

They cannot claim poverty, as the income streams from sponsorship and tickets go up while the quality of play goes down.

They cannot be a dollar short.

Hanauer and GM Craig Waibel have to act, starting in just a month and a half. Decisions about this year’s roster with a marginal shot at an MLS Cup should only be about building for 2025 without tearing out the heart of a squad on the edge of a historic U.S. Open Cup run.

High-priced players need to move on to be replaced with high performing players (Backheeled points out that two of the DPs are unworthy). Some young talents need to be sold in order to get the cash to add more quality.

Unprecedented opportunity comes with a massive responsibility.

Being born in ’74 must mean being built for ’25.

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Catching up on Sounder at Heart

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


Next match: Saturday at Sporting KC at 5:30 PM PDT (MLS Season Pass).


Next match: Sunday at KC Current at 3 pm PDT (Paramount+, CBS Golazo, NWSL+ and KONG)


Next match: Thursday Defiance hosts St. Louis 2 at Starfire Stadium (7 pm PDT /


Next match: Thursday at Union Omaha at 5 pm PDT (ESPN+/SWX) in the USL Jägermeister Cup.

Spokane hosted Chivas U23s over the weekend, winning 2-1 in front of a packed ONE Spokane Stadium.

USL2 teams

It's early in their short seasons, but the Northwest may be a two-horse race.

Ballard moves to the top of the USL2 Power Rankings after their win.

Looking back at the news

Everything else you need to know

Atlanta United fired Gonzalo Pineda. He was quite unlucky with an Atlanta team that hasn't been great since 2019. Seattle could use a third assistant with head coaching experience, I guess.

Dallas is getting ready to host the Copa America. They’re ripping out the turf and starting over.

“A big statement”: FIFA introduces measures to further protect female players and coaches.

Humiliated’ players quit Argentina women’s team

Alaska Airlines is going to be the Sounders big neighbor at Longacres.

Minnesota United shipped off Reynoso.

Apple TV+ could finally be coming to Android.

Greenland applies to join U.S. in Concacaf

How promotion and relegation nearly came to the USL.

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