One of the interesting things that we've been hearing from and about the Sounders this season is the defensive players' increased role in the offense.
Sigi Schmid clarified that a bit last week.
"So everybody understands it correctly: It's not that I expect the defenders to be storming forward like madmen to the attacking parts of the field. What I want is for them to be move involved that if the play breaks down, to be an option that we can play back to and then move the ball to the other side of the field, open the game back up again, and not sort of feel, 'OK, the ball is there now, it's not coming back to us, we're out of the play until we lose it.' There's always obviously going to be opportunities where we get our left back forward, our right back forward at the right times. That's the way I've always coached; that's the way my teams have always played. On the same token, I'm not looking for Jeff Parke or a centerback to make a rambling 30 yard rushing, slashing past three players in the middle of midfield and having a shot from 20. That's not what I'm looking for. What I'm looking for is that they are involved. If they see the play breaking down on one side of the field that they say, 'Hey, give it to me; I can get it to the other side of the field. I'm not uninvolved now because we're on the attacking third of the field. I'm involved in terms of the play breaking down.'"