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Blessings in Disguise

The blog has been quiet lately. No post game pontifications from me after that 3-0 drubbing. Much like the offense last week, I have chosen to just stay still and hope for the best. I edited some drafts but never really believed an article would come together until I finally gathered up the courage to face the reality. The outlook has been bleak and I'm not going to even attempt suggesting any quick solutions. The problems in this team while not insurmountable, are too ingrained and too numerous for any easy answers.

The substitutions have been confusing all year, the offense continues to fail to find any sort of consistency and the body language of the players increasingly reflects the overall malaise. Even after RSL had a player sent off, I never really believed in a comeback of any kind. Why do the Sounders keep rolling out the same team over and over expecting better results?

So, to hell with the Leagues Cup. It would take a 3 goal victory against a very good Monterrey side to advance to the next round. I want to see a strong but experimental lineup on Sunday. Try something new, maybe a formation change with Ruidiaz and Jordan Morris as a striking pair in a 4-4-2 perhaps? Play Cristian Roldan centrally? Let Jackson Regan step in alongside JP as a defensive midfielder during attacking phases to get extra players involved in the offense? I don't really care about the result tomorrow, but I do want to see a good performance and ideally something positive to build on going forward. For that to happen the Sounders need to look for fresh solutions.

Perhaps going out of Leagues Cup is a three week long blessing in disguise. It would allow this team to regroup, get healthy and spend time on the training pitch together to prepare for a crucial second half of the season. There have been too many excuses this season: injuries, travel, fixture congestion and even losing top players to international duty are all part and parcel of the MLS experience for all twenty nine teams. Some of these issues are all too real and need addressing but they affect everyone in the league, not just the Sounders. Top teams figure out how to cope and deal with these challenges rather than explain away poor results. The bright side of the Sounders potentially going out of the League Cup is an unprecedented break. A midseason training camp while other teams battle it out in the heat could become a crucial advantage during the playoff grind.

There is still plenty of time to find form and enter into the back half of the season looking strong. The defense is one of the best in the league and that can't be underestimated during the playoffs. If the offense can find goals consistently, (a big if, I know) we are looking at a dangerous side that can challenge anyone in the league. We are past time for a restart, to regroup for a playoff run and to bring back some positivity to Seattle soccer. Finally, while a large victory tomorrow seems improbable, stranger things have happened...


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