The Sounders can’t see what’s right in front of them.
They do a lot of things right, but acquisition and deployment of talent is not one of them.
For starters, they allowed their best player in Obafemi Martins to leave. I get that they can’t match the outrageous money that the Chinese Super League was offering, but it feels like we got the raw end of the deal here.
You can’t give up your best player without getting anything in return.
Oba’s depature does free up a Designated Player slot and I’m sure that the Sounders have their scouts scouring the globe for new talent.
What they really need is a true number 10.
Not since the days of Freddie Ljunberg have the Sounders had a proper attacking center-mid. For whatever reason, Freddie never gelled with the team (or perhaps its owners), even though he was a godsend on paper.
Call me naive, but I have a hard time believing that he was just a huge asshole, deserving 100% of the blame.
I think he didn’t see eye-to-eye with management on some things, and instead of reconciling the relationship, they opted to let it atrophy and die.
Maybe the European star had a hard time taking direction from a coach who can’t run a lap in Sigi Schmid. This is not an indictment of Sigi or his lifestyle. I actually like the guy.
“How the hell is this fat guy gonna tell me I need to run more?”
Again, this is not to throw shade on Sigi. The best coach I ever had was a fat guy. I’m just sayin’, try a diet, my guy. G up on some salads. Cut out the beer and switch to liquor.
More importantly, however, is winning in the playoffs. The Sounders wither and die in the playoffs every year like clockwork.
I’ve never seen anything less impressive.
Obviously, winning in the playoffs is not important to Sigi’s job security.
At this point, the Sounders have become enablers, encouraging Sigi to disappoint year after year. Shame on us for perpetuating this mediocrity.
You know what the Cleveland Cavaliers did this year? They fired their coach who brought them to the NBA finals last year and had them in first place in the Eastern Conference halfway through the season this year.
And he did all that without Kyrie Irving. I’m not saying it was the right or the wrong move, but it’s clear they’re about winning ‘ships in Cleveland.
Can the same be said about the Seattle Sounders?
One thing that bothered me last year was how they tried to use Oba as a target player on the field.
Yes, he is the best athlete out there and can probably run down a ball you whack into enemy territory.
But dude is like 5’7″.
He’s not winning any aerial battles, so stop fucking launching balls into the teeth of the defense and expecting him to fight their big center-backs and come out on top.
If only the Sounders had a player whose job it was to distribute the ball and put our forwards in position to score.
Enter number 10.
Where is this guy? I like Frieberg – I like his haircut, his accent, everything about him – but he just sort of saunters around out there.
He’s a good passer but we need someone more dangerous. We need a danger man.
Clint Dempsey and Nelson Valdez are legit threats, but they’re old. Wily veterans in the business of beguiling defenders, not blowing by them. The Sounders would do well to complement their savvy know-how with youth and speed.
Jordan Morris could develop into a star, but he’s got about zero experience under his belt and people are hyping him up like some sort of Michael Jordan god-kid. That can’t be good for a young player’s think piece. Just look at what happened to Freddy Adu.
Ozvaldo Alonso is a bulldog sitting in front of the defense. He’s going to get stuck in there and make life difficult for the other team’s attacking players, giving his center-mid partner-in-crime the freedom to get downfield.
The Sounders need a ying to his yang. Give me a 23-year-old South American kid who can catch fire. Give me a poor man’s James Rodriguez.
With the Sounders breaking their own MLS attendance records annually, you know they’ve got money to spend, especially with the $3M they won’t have to pay Oba anymore.
So please, do everyone a favor and sign someone who will allow the Sounders to play a style of soccer conducive to winning.