Friday, March 2, 2012

MLS2012: Seattle Sounders

Like great teams, full stadiums, loud supporters, and the Drew Carey Show? Even if you hate the latter, you'll still love the Seattle Sounders.

Home Stadium: CenturyLink Field - Seattle, WA

Kasey Keller (GK): Retirement
Tyson Wahl (D): Drafted in expansion draft by Impact
Mike Fucito (F): Traded to Montreal

Adam Johansson (D): Free transfer from IFK Goteberg in Sweden
Michael Gspurning (GK): Free transfer from Skoda Xanthi in Greece
Eddie Johnson (F): Trade from Montreal

Player To Watch:
Where to begin with Eddie Johnson? Once hailed as the next great American striker, EJ made appearances in two games at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. He signed with Fulham in 2008 and in his 3 years with the club, never scored a goal. He resurfaced with Puebla last December but never signed a contract for reasons that are still being disputed by both parties. Now 27 and soon to be 28, it's now or never for Johnson to resurrect his career, and the Pacific Northwest could be the place to do it.

Suporter Profile:
Seattle has the best attendance in MLS, and their home crowds can rival some of the best in all of the Americas. Several supporter groups exist in Seattle, most notably Gorilla FC, but the Emerald City Supporters are Seattle's biggest and have been there the longest. Formed in 2005, ECS was the main support group when the Sounders were a USL franchise playing at the Starfire Complex. The group is now notorious for its half-mile marches from Occidental Park to CenturyLink Field every match day.      SEATTLE..... SOUNDERS.....

There will be a tremendous amount of pressure on the Sounders' newcomers as they replace fan favorites. The team has yet to win a playoff series in their 3 years despite winning the US Open Cup each of the past 3 years. They will also be competing in the CONCACAF Champions League twice this year which will stretch the team's depth. The 2011-12 quarterfinals will give the team its first real test as they will play Santos Laguna of Mexico on 3/7 and 3/14. The 2012-13 tournament will test the club later in the season. While Cup success is something the Sounders are familiar with, it will need to win an MLS Playoff series to be considered an upper-echelon club on the pitch - even if their Supporters are already perhaps the best in the League.

Christian Araos
ONE GOAL Contributor

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