Seattle Sounders: The impact of Roman Torres’ 10-game suspension

We look at how the 10-game suspension of Roman Torres will affect the Seattle Sounders for the remainder of the 2019 regular season.

The Seattle Sounders have suffered a blow as we enter crunch time in the MLS regular season. As confirmed by, Roman Torres has been suspended for 10 games after testing positive for a performance enhancing substance.

The league confirmed the suspension on Friday and Torres was apparently notified as soon as he had finished training with the Sounders. He has also been fined 20 percent of his salary for the 2019 season. (Base salary of $670,000 and guaranteed compensation of $740,000.)

During the 10-game suspension, the center-back is not allowed to participate in training or even use the team facilities. He will be allowed to train with the Tacoma Defiance, the Sounders’ USL affiliate, two weeks before the next MLS game he is eligible to play in. (Sept. 29 versus the San Jose Earthquakes.)

No one will deny the absence of Torres is a challenge for the Sounders. Certainly, his hulking and intimidating presence makes fans feel more confident in the team’s defense.

However, let’s look at this realistically; the Sounders are still more than capable of competing and producing positive results over the next 10 games. It’s not as if Torres has been a regular fixture this season, starting just 11 of the team’s first 22 regular season games in 2019 (albeit while also appearing as a sub another four times).

Further, consider that the Rave Green have actually been more productive when the Panama international hasn’t started. In those 11 games, they have won six times, lost just twice, totaled 21 points and conceded 13 goals.

By comparison, in the 11 games Torres started, the Sounders have won five, lost four, totaled 17 points and allowed 15 goals.

Now of course, statistics can often be manipulated to support any argument. In the fairness of balance, it should be pointed out the Sounders also scored more goals in the 11 games without Torres, with 19 compared to 14. (In addition, Seattle only conceded two more goals in the games Torres started.)

Regardless, the team can still produce points consistently during the absence of the Panama City native. And this belief extends to previous seasons.

Consider that Torres only started seven regular season games for the Sounders last year, with another six appearances off the subs’ bench. However, the team still finished with their third-most points in MLS franchise history, as well as their highest total since 2014.

Further, when Seattle won their first ever MLS Cup in 2016, Torres only started eight regular season games with just one further subs’ appearance. Again though, in his defense — no pun intended — he did start all four playoff games; his presence spurred the team on and lest we forget, he scored the penalty which clinched the championship.

Overall, the Sounders would ideally prefer to have Torres available for selection every game. However, the team will be just fine during his absence.

How did you respond to the news of Torres’ suspension? Are you concerned or not about how it will impact the Seattle Sounders, and why? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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