Sounders Insider

Sounders GM says CBA questions forcing conservative approach to roster moves

We got a few minutes with Sounders general manager Garth Lagerwey on Monday. I've finally gotten around to transcribing this portion of the conversation, beginning with the question if he considers this roster season-ready, or if moves are planned:

"I’d say it ended the season at a pretty high level with the Suppoerts’ Shield and the conference final and the Open Cup championship and all that stuff," he said. "I don’t think it’s a team that needs radical change. We’re obviously working on some things. It’s a tough offseason because you obviously don’t know what the roster size is and you don’t know what the salary cap is. Those are two fairly critical components in assembling a team. It is what it is, and all teams are working by the same rules. It’s a work in progress, but I think you’ll see us – particularly with the amount of allocation money that we have from the Yedlin sale – be relatively conservative possibly to other teams given that we believe we are dealing from a position of strength: the team’s success last year, and we believe we’re going to have the ability to tweak the roster or the lineup once we understand what the rules are and we can make good strategic decisions – you guys have heard me say this many times – not just for the next month, but for the next three year, the next five years as we look at the age of the roster.

If that could mean more moves in the summer: It could. Philosophically I’d rather makes moves sooner than later. It’s just harder for guys to come in in the summer and try to adjust while guys are in midseason form. And those guys have to come in and hit the ground running. And if you’re getting guys from Europe and even South America, often they haven’t been training for that whole period, so it’s just harder to bring them in, the summer’s just harder to adjust. The Sounders saw this with Dempsey a couple of years ago. When you take even an elite player like that it can be challenging. That said, it’s just a weird season. It’s not like there’s nothing we can do. But in my opinion, strategically it’s smarter for us to be more conservative right now given the circumstances of this club and then adjust once we understand what the rules are.