O'Brian White

Henderson: Seattle looking for target help up top

TUKWILA, Wash. – There may be some front-line reinforcements heading to Seattle.

Sounders technical director Chris Henderson acknowledged on Tuesday that he has been scouting target forwards in an attempt to improve Seattle’s roster.

“We’re always looking for forwards, among other positions,” Henderson said. “Last night I watched a game and I watched three more this morning and those players happened to be strikers.”

While he was quick to add that he is looking at other positions as well, Henderson’s statements would seem to confirm what everyone has suspected since the sudden, unexpected departure of Blaise Nkufo: Seattle are looking to strengthen themselves up front.

[inline_node:332786]Currently, Seattle’s primary options at the target forward position are O'Brian White and Nate Jaqua. White scored his first goal in four games this past weekend, while Jaqua has seen action off the bench in the past two contests as he recovers from offseason hip surgery.

However, neither player has shown the combination of goal-scoring prowess and hold-up ability of someone in the mold of Conor Casey or the since-retired Nkufo.

As a result, finding a classic center forward remains a priority for the Sounders. After last weekend's 2-2 draw at San Jose, coach Sigi Schmid dismissed the idea of playing Mauro Rosales alongside Fredy Montero, saying that a similar combination with Montero and Freddie Ljungberg led to unsatisfactory results.

Henderson said it was probable that a new face could be in camp soon.

“I think there’s a good chance of that,” Henderson said about bringing a new player in. “I think it’s timing for players. It’s getting the right guy that’s going to fit for our team. There is that chance for sure before the end of this summer window.”

Despite leading the league in shot attempts with 59 through four games, Seattle have scored only three times.


Keen observers will have noticed the black eye Patrick Ianni has been sporting recently. The center back’s shiner came courtesy of errant elbow from midfielder David Estrada during training.

“We went up for a header and he had his elbows flaring,” Ianni joked. “I caught it. I think I owe him one, for sure.”