While Sigi Schmid was giving halftime instructions to a Seattle Sounders team that would win 2-nil, President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey chatted with play-by-play man Keith Costigan and color commentator Kasey Keller. If there is one thing that is clear, it's that Garth is not happy with the team over the past year.
"We gotta sign some players," Lagerwey told the team broadcasters. "We're going to try to sign a Designated Player in the Summer window and if we can sign a TAM level player in addition to that. On top of that you get Roman Torres back hopefully at some point. And I think most teams would improve with the addition of three starters. So that's what we're looking to do, and hopefully that will help us get better as a group and overcome the early loss of Obafemi Martins."
It could be taken as a minor backpedal, but the firm statement of "the addition of three starters" makes it clear -- Seattle will be adding talent in the next transfer window. Two of those players will be under 30, ideally.
"We want to sign a DP who's under 30 preferably. That's certainly again as we move this group, as we transition it... But we want to sign a good player we can. We want to sign the best player we can," he explained. "Obafemi Martins was over 30 and he was a heck of a good player, so we gotta get a midfielder in this case that hopefully serves as a force magnifier that pulls our team together."
The targeted player, perhaps Nicolas Lodeiro or similar, must be one that amplifies the current talent on the team. Clint Dempsey is not performing as well as he did last year, and Garth thinks that Jordan Morris can be even better than he's been so far.
"...we should be better in July than we were in March, and we should be better in September than we were in July."
That's the key. Lagerwey admitted that last year they brought in a lot of talent to just squeak into the playoffs. Garth has bigger goals than just repeating trips into the playoffs and advancing just a round after entering.
He did not say 'MLS Cup,' but it did not need to be said. His words were rather clear.
"We beat the Galaxy and it felt good, but we lost to what was candidly a better, faster, younger Dallas team. And yeah it looked good on paper that we went to penalties but the reality was that we weren't going to win that matchup very often. So in my opinion, at least, I thought we had to change the team and hopefully as we turn it over we're able to move it into a team that can compete consistently to win titles."
The transfer window opens July 4th and closes August 3rd. The Sounders next game is on June 15th in the U.S. Open Cup. They they have three MLS matches prior to the window opening. Currently they are 5-7-1, -2.