Sunday’s loss to the L.A. Galaxy stings deeply for Seattle supporters. The jacked-up Seattle crowd had watched as their squad seized control of their playoff destiny with a 2-0 lead before a Juninho goal awoke them from a dream season.
Yes, they won the 90-minute battle. But no, they had not won the aggregate war.
So what’s next for the Sounders? Well, much of the same in terms of the key pieces. Clint Dempsey, Brad Evans, Obafemi Martins, Lamar Neagle and Osvaldo Alonso have multi-year contracts with Seattle, and will likely be back to run the Western Conference gauntlet (Though it’d be great for Seattle if Dempsey relaxes this offseason instead of going loan crazy again, but “Clint’s gonna Clint”).
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All won’t be the same: DeAndre Yedlin is likely off to White Hart Lane to finally become a Tottenham Hotspur. And really any of those above name players could skip town (though Dempsey and Martins would be shocking).
So as hard as this is for Sounders fans to accept at this ginger moment in time, their team will not only be back and strong, but they could be better. There won’t be a World Cup to take Clint Dempsey away from them. Provided Chad Marshall and Stefan Frei are able to mostly-replicate their 2014 seasons, Seattle should be in strong position under Sigi Schmid.
Although… even in all the love for Marshall, Zach Scott and Yedlin and the defense, Seattle tied for the highest amount of goals allowed by any MLS team (50, New York). So shoring up the back line, and providing some depth would be a key piece (Marshall isn’t getting any younger after all).
So the goals for Seattle this offseason should be:
1) Store up vitriol
2) Keep the offensive attack together
3) Find a defender or two
4) Pour our No. 1 and 2 liberally on the league next year.
Cool? Cool. See you in March.