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Sounders can’t afford to sit out of upcoming transfer window

It’s not just about building a competitive roster, ownership needs to bankroll some moves simply to drive interest.

Last Updated
7 min read
Jane Gershovich / Sounders FC Communications

After a nearly disastrous start to the season, the Seattle Sounders have managed to get themselves back to respectability. Their win over the Chicago Fire on Saturday brought their record to 7-7-7 and allowed them to move into the No. 9 playoff spot. Precarious as that may be — they’re still only one point ahead of No. 10 Austin FC — their two-month run of form has pulled them to within three points of the No. 5 spot in the Western Conference.

At the same time, they’ve managed to advance to the U.S. Open quarterfinals for the first time since 2016 and are just three wins away from becoming the first MLS team to win that trophy five times.

The Sounders aren’t exactly where they envisioned themselves at the start of the year, but after that 0-3-2 start they can at least see where they want to go.

It’s tempting, then, to look at their 7-2-5 record over their last 14 matches across all competitions, consider that they finally appear to be approaching something close to full health and take a conservative approach to the summer transfer window that opens in about two weeks.

That would be a mistake and it’s not just because they’re in desperate need of talent.

At this point, it’s been made abundantly clear that the Sounders have limited resources to use during this window. For budgetary reasons or otherwise, everyone I’ve talked to has indicated there are currently no plans to use a buyout in order to open more cap space. Barring some unforeseen change — like a significant outbound transfer — there’s no good reason to expect the Sounders to make a move as bold as adding a new Designated Player.

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