Armchair Analyst's Breakdown
- Strength: They’ve got the deepest, best-constructed roster in the league – the type that can get 60 points even when missing some of their very best players all year long.
Weakness: Are those elite players quite as elite as they were two years ago? The league’s gotten better; the Sounders have gotten older.
- Shane O’Neill: Center back Shane O’Neill left the Sounders in free agency to sign with Toronto FC, part of Bob Bradley’s complete overhaul of the Canadian club. He made 45 appearances with the Sounders, the best period of his career since 2013-14 with the Colorado Rapids.
- Brad Smith: Left wingback Brad Smith seemed to fall out of favor last year with Jimmy Medranda’s emergence and was made expendable given his contract and depth at the position. Smith was traded to D.C. United for $750k GAM, where he’ll be the starter. Smith made 63 appearances with Seattle from 2018-21, broken up into two stints.
- Albert Rusnak: The rich got richer. Albert Rusnak, among the league’s most productive attackers during his time with Real Salt Lake, signed with Seattle in free agency, the biggest coup via that mechanism this offseason. He had 41 goals and 39 assists in 140 appearances with RSL and will be a DP with Seattle.
- Just as important? Seattle could have lost several key players but sorted returns for Alex Roldan, Will Bruin, Kelyn Rowe and more, all while agreeing to new contracts with Raul Ruidiaz and Joao Paulo.
- Full roster
Projected Starting XI
- Charles Boehm: 2nd in West
- Tom Bogert: 1st in West
- Matt Doyle: 1st in West
- David Gass: 1st in West
- Sam Jones: 1st in West
- Joe Lowery: 1st in West
- Greg Seltzer: 1st in West
- Andrew Wiebe: 1st in West
Seattle Sounders FC Season Preview