Seattle Sounders returned to winning ways this weekend against the Houston Dynamo but they created significantly less than their opponents and over-reliance on stars could be a worry.
Seattle had just five shots in the whole game, compared to Dynamo’s 15, but both sides had just two on target.
Obafemi Martins’ goal vs. Houston (via Seattle Sounders on YouTube):
Martins and Dempsey have scored all of Seattle’s six goals so far and it is clear that the team wouldn’t be able to cope without their Designated Players.
The Sounders looked a completely different outfit with the return of their big name forwards compared to last week’s 0-0 draw with FC Dallas. The concern is that they could seriously struggle if a long-term injury is sustained by either, or both of their star strikers.
Osvaldo Alonso also returned to the side to make his first start this season in Saturday’s win against Houston and head coach Sigi Schmid will hope that having all three DP’s back in the team will lead to a good run of form.
While it is clear that Designated Players are meant to make the difference for their teams, the worry with Seattle is that the overall squad depth seems to be lacking at this early stage of the season.
It could be match fitness, but relying on key individuals to drag you through a season is not the sort of recipe that leads to MLS Cup success, and that is the aim for the Sounders.
They will face their toughest test of the season so far in their next fixture against MLS Cup holders and Western Conference rivals, LA Galaxy, away at the StubHub Centre on Sunday, April 12.
Neither side has been able to show their superiority in MLS so far this season and so next weekend’s clash is an important one.
Are the Seattle Sounders over-reliant on Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey?