It’s that time of year again ECS!
As well as my take on who will lead the team in scoring this season.
As usual, I believe that Fredy Montero will lead the team in goals this season, if he can keep up his intensity for ninety minutes more regularly that is.
He has by far the best scorers touch on the team, but it seems that he loses interest in games more and more frequently as his time in Seattle has gone on.
Let’s hope that a healthy Steve Zakuani, and O’Brian White can come back and contribute what they are known for this season. Just think if the Sounders would have had those two last year, how dangerous they could have been in the playoffs.
It will be interesting to see what newcomer Cordell Cato can do as well.
There was big talk about his talents upon his arrival, and he is still only 19 years old, so his upswing is going to be big.
The midfield will be anchored by yet another stellar year by the best mid in all of the MLS, Osvaldo Alonso. The mids will look to contribute more goals also with the likes of US National team member Brad Evans, Alvaro Fernandez, and last years over night sensation Mauro Rosales.
Playing time will be tough to get this year for the midfielders, as coach Sigi Schmid has a plethora of talent at the position this year. With the hopeful return of Steve Zakuani this season, Schmid will have lightening fast speed on the sides with Zakuani, and Mauro Rosales feeding crosses in for the forwards.
The addition of Swedish defender Adam Johansson will help relieve the pressure off the keepers this season. Along with Johansson, returning defensive standouts Leo Gonzalez, and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, will sweep the back.
With the loss of legendary goalkeeper Kasey Keller, the defense will be key this season. Seattle had a very stingy defense last year, but with the aspect of new keepers, the defenders will have to be sharp with their markings, and clear errant balls deep.
Speaking of goalkeeping, newcomer Michael Gspurning will have his hands extremely full trying to replace a northwest favorite in Kasey Keller.
With the Community Shield match coming up of Feb. 29th, I say that is as good a time as any for the Sounders to begin collecting their silverware for the 2012 season.
With the CONCACAF Champions league knockout stage right around the corner as well, it would be nice to see them advance to the championship match, but the knockout stage is still quite an achievement.
Once again I predict the Sounders to win the Cascadia Cup, and keep that trophy where it belongs, right here in Seattle.
The Vancouver Whitecaps has gotten a lot better this offseason, but I still got the Sounders taking it.
And what kind of prediction piece would this be without picking the Sounders to win an unprecedented fourth US Open Cup trophy?
Yep, I think they will do it once again, they have the depth, and the knowledge of tournament play to sustain fitness during the season.
The key to the last three cup championships.