Sounders begin quest for third consecutive Western Conference title

The Seattle Sounders officially began their quest for a third consecutive trip to the  MLS Cup Championship game on Monday as the club began its Adidas sponsored 2018 preseason training camp.

It was the teams first open training and all that was missing from the meet and greet where a few appetizers. The team will spend the next six days in Chula Vista California and return on January 31st for one day then head to Tuscon, Arizona February 2nd-8th to participate in the Preseason Tucson Tournament.

As expected the session was more of a show and tell with General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey and head coach Brian Schmetzer taking a look back at last season and pitching hope for the upcoming season.

 

The Sounders made some offseason moves that looked to add competition and depth to a veteran group that had little time to rest due to the club qualifying for the upcoming  2018 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League tournament.  The 16 team tournament pits league champions and runner-ups from North America, Central America, and the Carribean. MLS team FC Dallas, New York Redbulls, Colorado Rapids and MLS Champions Toronto FC will be participating in the tournament with the Sounders.

Sounders first game in the tournament will be February 22nd  road game against  Salvadoran side Santa Tecla FC.

 

OFFSEASON TRANSACTIONS:

  • The Sounders acquired defender Waylon Francis from the Columbus Crew  SC in exchange for   $50,000 General Allocation Money.
  • Lost goalkeeper Tyler Miller to the Los Angeles FC in the 2017 MLS Expansion Draft. LAFC made Miller their top pick in the draft.
  • Hired former U.S Midfielder Preki as an assistant coach.
  • Signed Handwalla Bwana to a homegrown player contract
  • Drafted former Seattle University midfielder Alex Roldan younger brother of current midfielder Cristian Roldan with the 22nd pick in the first round of the 2018 MLS SuperDraft.
  • Drafted Duke defender Markus Fjortoft with the 22nd pick of the second round and finished the draft by drafting Villanova defense Chris Bared with the 68th pick in the third round.
  • Loaned midfielder Aaron Kovar to LAFC with  an option to buy at seasons end

 

TAKEAWAYS

It would be hard to believe that the Sounders are done making offseason moves. The MLS season is one of the longest and toughest schedules in sports. Who the Sounders bring in will be pure speculation until they make that move. Since we are speculating a safer bet is to do it by position. Sounders are likely to add a creative winger or forward to help with finishing on the offensive end and another winger/midfielder.

The middle of the Sounders midfield is as solid as any in MLS with Nicolas Lodeiro, Victor Rodriguez, Cristian Roldan, Harry Shipp and Gustav Svensson. A goalkeeper would not be out of the question given the loss of Miller who was more than a decent back up to Stefan Frei.

 

 

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