When I started writing on this website, way back in 2011, a fellow SB Nation blogger told me about a feature idea, where you interview a colleague from a fellow MLS site, to get the lowdown on the game ahead. I’m pleased to announce the MLS Three Questions feature is back!
First up, my good friend Dave Clark from SB Nation’s Seattle Sounders blog Sounder at Heart. Dave was gracious enough to take a few minutes out of his busy schedule to tell me about the Sounders ahead of Los Angeles Football Club’s game on Sunday in Seattle. Enjoy!
Angels on Parade asks Sounder at Heart:
1. Two years, two trips to MLS Cup for the Sounders, although last year did not end in a trophy. How do things stand for the team heading into a new season? The confidence that Seattle is known for, or some anxiety about getting to the title game for a third straight year?
Prior to the Morris injury (which we’ll talk about more in a bit) the expectations were to make a run at winning the Western Conference in the regular season with an outside shot at the Supporters’ Shield (behind a few teams in the East). After that there would be confidence in another attempt at a Cup run. Injury was the biggest concern, and one only need to look at the injured list from leg one against Santa Tecla to see why. The following players did not travel due to injury or injury concern -- Osvaldo Alonso, Kelvin Leerdam, Victor Rodriguez, Roman Torres, Clint Dempsey (though healthy). Tony Alfaro started, but was nursing a hammy. The team is deep, but ideally wouldn’t be dealing with playing that depth so early in the season. Things are always better when injuries are spread throughout the season rather than a wave of them at once.
2. On a related note, Jordan Morris will unfortunately miss the season after tearing his ACL. Is this a huge deal for the Sounders’ hopes this year, or did his lackluster 2017 season offer a lesson in coping without him?
It’s a huge deal. The ideal circumstance this season was that Morris would be healthy rather than play through an injured ankle and deal with two hammy issues in 2017. He looked every bit the part both with the USMNT and in preseason with Seattle. Now, the Sounders will lack their only speed option of regular starting attacking players. Plus, he’s obviously capable of being a scoring threat.
They need to add someone, or at least know who they are adding in the secondary transfer window. Will Bruin and spot starts by Clint Dempsey is good enough in the short term, but a team that is interested in multiple trophies, and is contesting four of them, needs as much depth as possible.
3. In general, what do Seattle fans think of LAFC and LAFC fans? I’m certain it’s all really good stuff so would like to hear your thoughts of the new team in the league.
This is a complex question to answer. We totally understand not wanting to root for the Galaxy, and the mocking of Carson, but the level of support that suddenly swelled up has been amazing. I don’t understand where it came from, or how it will last. LAFC clearly caught onto something. How they maintain it will be interesting to follow. In general I hope for financial success for the dozens of owners and a team that challenges to make the playoffs every year, but ultimately just isn’t as good as Seattle.
4. (Bonus) Prediction for Sunday’s match?
I’m thinking 3-1 Seattle. It’s at home against a team that may not be a team yet.
You can find my answers to Dave’s questions over at Sounder at Heart.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!