After those three moves announced yeterday (blog posts below) Seattle Sounders general manager Garth Lagerwey and coach Sigi Schmid fleshed out a little of the reasoning after the club’s training session today.
Especially interesting was Lagerwey’s thinking on whatever designated player is brought in to fill the slot recently held by star forward Obafemi Martins: maybe an attacking midfielder, mid-career or younger.
“Does it give you more opportunity to remake the team? It does.” He said. “But hopefully that’s in the organization’s best interert. What I think it changes is, it changes what was a pretty 2016 focus – we’ve got to try to win in this window before these guys get any older – to a little bit more long-term goal. Which is not to say that you’re not trying to win in 2016, what I’m saying is it allow us to balance our roster from a salary-cap perspective, from a position perspective in a way that I think is more sustainable, which will hopefully give us a better chance to win in 2016 but then a much better chance to win in the years beyond that, even if the player we bring in right now – or those players we bring in right now – might not individually be everything that Obafemi was.”
Lagerwey was asked if that would likely be a younger player than Seattle has often brought in as DP.
“Yes. We are going to look younger,” he said. “We are not wedded to things. If we find a an older player who is the best player out there at the best value, fine. But again, if you’re looking at a lineup where eight or nine guys are 30 years old, that is not sustainable. That is not a knock on any of those guys. They are some of our best players. We hope they stick around forever. But we have to hedge our bets a little bit, and we need some more variation in our attack. Look, when you put our best 11 on the floor right now, we’re pretty solid. I don’t see any holes. I don’t look at it and say, ‘Hey, we need to replace this person because they’re not able to play at a high level.’ In that sense a young player can be better as well, because they can be a little bit more complementary, they can be part of a positional rotation of a group of guys on one spot or one set of duties, like attacking and creating.”
I’ll have more from Lagerwey as the day goes along.
However, during today’s media session Schmid said:
*central defender Brad Evans has been ruled out for the Saturday match at Real Salt Lake due to a shoulder injury suffered in the season-opening 1-0 loss to Sporting KC. It sounds like veteran Zach Scott might step into Evans’ spot.
*today is the final day of midfielder Erik Friberg’s concusssion protocol, and barring a setback he could be full-in for training Thursday. Schmid also indicated that right back Tyrone Mears is making progress from his quad strain.
*newly signed rookie defender Tony Alfaro has MLS skills, and can hone them this season in Seattle, maybe with S2. Meanwhile, central defenders Damion Lowe and Jimmy Ockford -- recently loaned to Minnesota and New York respectively: could benefit from playing in the second-division NASL -- one step below MLS, but one step up from the USL. Schmid clarified that Lowe could return to Seattle before this MLS season is out -- perhaps at the NASL season break. And also that Ockford is expected to fill a starting role with the Cosmos.
More from Schmid also coming online today and in the Thursday paper.