Talk about perfect timing! If you weren't aware, Seattle Sounders play Al Ahly in the Club World Cup today at 12:00 pm EST.
Welcome to Season Preview number 9 of the 2023 MLS season! After an up-and-down 2022, Seattle looks ahead to a much more stable 2023. Surprisingly, there hasn't been a ton of movement yet, but did there really need to be? Last year's CONCACAF Champions League winning squad should be enough to compete in 2023. It's going to be fascinating to see how they bounce back.
Record: 12-5-17 (41 points/11th in West)
Team Leader Goals: Raul Ruidiaz 9, Nicolas Lodeiro 7, Jordan Morris 7
Team Leader Assists: Nicolas Lodeiro 11, Alex Roldan 7, Cristian Roldan 5
Manager: Brian Schmetzer (8th season)
Additions: CF Heber ($400k GAM trade from NYCFC/31 years old)
Subtractions: CF Samuel Adeniran ($100k GAM to St. Louis City SC/24 years old), LB Jimmy Medranda (free to Columbus Crew/28 years old), CF Will Bruin (free agent/33 years old), Alfonso Ocampo-Chances (free to Austin FC/20 years old)
Projected Starting XI
When everyone's healthy, there isn't a whole lot wrong with this squad. Seattle is two deep in nearly every position on the pitch. No Lodeiro? Move Rusnak up. Morris injured? Here comes Leo Chu. Paulo need a rest? Vargas can step in. You get the idea. This team has quality depth.
When thinking about where this season could go wrong, my initial reaction is the defense. Nouhou and Roldan can't play every game so there will need to be at least one fullback brought in. Seattle got away with it last year but the sheer volume of games coming up will require established rotation options. Kelyn Rowe is not enough to cover both positions.
I think Seattle fans can and will be excited for the season to come. After the team's worst MLS season, the squad has the quality to bounce back with some force. Look out MLS!