The new season is less than a week away and in the build-up to the first game, we’ve had an MLS 2015 Season Preview up everyday. Today we take a look at what to expect from the Seattle Sounders in 2015…
The Seattle Sounders can head into the new campaign full of optimism. They topped the pile in the Western Conference last season and lifted the MLS Supporters’ Shield but they will want to push on and try and lift the MLS Cup come December this year. Their loss to eventual championship winners, LA Galaxy should help to spur them on this season and it will be an exciting battle in the Western Conference between the two clubs in 2015. Seattle also picked up the US Open Cup in 2014 and are undoubtedly one of the strongest sides in MLS.
Last season’s finish: Western Conference position: 1st – P34 – W20 – D4 – L10
Head coach Sigi Schmid needs to find a solution to ensure his side can make the playoff final and possibly win the MLS Cup. Losing the Western Conference semi-final against the Galaxy on the away goals rule could be seen as just bad luck, but it was almost a theme of the Sounders’ season. They conceded the tied-most goals of all the sides that made the playoffs and although their play style guarantees goals at the right end, it was their inability to shutout LA Galaxy in the first-leg which cost them so dearly. Seattle on the whole were very impressive last campaign and they aren’t far off from being a complete side. But as MLS becomes even more competitive, they will have to be at their best to ensure they can better last season.
Key changes to the squad:
Ins: Troy Perkins – Goalkeeper, Tyrone Mears – Defender, Andres Correa – Defender, Cristian Roldan – Midfielder, Victor Mansaray – Forward, Darwin Jones – Forward, Andy Craven – Forward
Outs: Marcus Hahnemann – Goalkeeper, Josh Ford – Goalkeeper, DeAndre Yedlin – Defender, Onyekachi Apam – Defender, Djimi Traore – Defender, Jalil Anibaba – Defender, Eriq Zavaleta – Defender, Sean Okoli – Forward, Cam Weaver – Forward, Tristan Bowen – Forward
Key Player: Obafemi Martins – ForwardEmbed from Getty Images
Obafemi Martins scored an impressive 17 goals last campaign and Seattle will need him to be in that sort of form again this season. The Nigerian forward’s finishing is a real asset to the Sounders and his partnership with Clint Dempsey worked so well for them last season. He still has a lot of football ahead of him at 30 and we are likely to see his goals ensuring Seattle progress into the latter stages of the playoffs once again in 2015.
One to watch: Andres Correa – Defender
The Colombian left-back has been quietly going about his development. At just 21 he has made 10 international appearances through the youth ranks of the Colombian national team. Andres Correa could be a long-term star for the Sounders and he will continue to learn from a squad full of talent. This will be a transitional season for him and he will want as much playing time as possible to help his growth. Expect him to be an exciting member of the side if he’s given minutes.
Predicted finish: Western Conference – 2nd
The Seattle Sounders will once again be a real force in MLS this year but it will be tough to replicate last season’s dominance in the Western Conference. The LA Galaxy were slow starters last year but were unstoppable towards the end of 2014 and will be favourites to topple the Sounders in the Western this year. Seattle will be targeting MLS Cup success this season and there is no reason why they can’t go on and become champions with the talent they have in the side.
What are you expecting from the Seattle Sounders in 2015?