Dave Clark of Sounder at Heart was nice enough to answer some questions for Big D Soccer. The Sounders are still one of the top teams heading into the postseason. How does he see their chances?
1. Seattle's recent struggles have been no secret, though they looked much better in their loss against Portland. Was the defense mostly to blame for the one million goals against Seattle, or was it a more complicated issue?
Twice in a row the club went up against a strategy with which it usually struggles - the bunker and counter. These losses were worse than usual bunker-counter losses for two reasons. First, I think that Seattle Sounders FC tried to push the game and recover an even game state quickly. That brought numbers forward and made them even weaker on the counter. Second the men countering were young, athletic types that can quickly blow by a single defender when on an island. They did. Often.
The scorelines were horrible, but they did not relate to other losses (excepting the LA 4-0) in any other way.
2. It seems that Seattle has had several injury problems this year. Obafemi Martins might actually be an injury disguised as a human, and even Clint Dempsey has struggled, just to name a few. How have the bench players performed in their absence throughout the season. How would you rate Seattle's depth going into the playoffs?
Considering how infrequently the first choice lineup has played the depth should be fine. The depth is what had Seattle poised to win the Supporters' Shield and still with an outside shot at making it. The most significant depth player on the year has been Lamar Neagle. It might be odd saying that a 25 start, 8 goal and 3 assist man is a depth player, but his role on the squad when, Clint, Oba and EJ are all healthy is unknowable.
Andy Rose, Servando Carrasco and Adam Moffat have all gotten time in the central midfield. Moffat's role is still be determined. Marc Burch should not be overlooked. The left back is actually a pretty darn good left mid within Sigi's system and deserves to start there more because of how he's suited for the role rather than his talent level.
3. The season is almost over. How would Sounders fans rate this season? What are the highs, the lows, and who is your current vote for Sounders MVP?
Incomplete? These last two games could see Seattle in 6th in the West or with the Shield. Then there's the whole Playoffs thing.
The high point was when the signed Clint Dempsey. National media missed it but the winning streak was wrapped around that moment. To go from 7th in the West to the best in the League while signing the USMNT Captain is pretty awesome.
The low is those eight days of 10-2 drubbing.
The MVP on the team is so tight right now several players could win it with performances at the end of the month.
If you'd like to see my answers, go to Sounder at Heart and read their post.