RSL Soapbox) Are the problems that the Sounders were facing really resolved with the return of Obafemi Martins? That was fast.
Sounder at Heart) Getting Oba back was a huge part of that explosion. He was the runner-up for the MVP last season, and before he was down the contest between Martins, Dempsey, Keane and now the clear favorite Giovinco was close. With Martins Seattle gets great hold up play, someone who enjoys the physical nature of MLS, a potent scorer and a creative force. On the pitch he's an ideal MVP. Off the pitch he doesn't move the needle much, but trophies he helps win do move that needle.
But it's more than Obafemi. Friberg melded rapidly and brings some great long passing to the midfield, strong possession and quality defense. Nelson Haedo Valdez blended into the team even quicker. His name is not much, but those 50ish minutes were a wonderful display in how a DP can contribute immediately. Nelson has quick feet, good vision and is a strong leaper who can create and score with his head.
Together those three brought the offense back. It's gonna be fun as Ivanschitz, Dempsey and Alonso get back too.
RSL Soapbox) The jury is still out to some degree, but what is the fans' perception of Garth Lagerwey so far?
Sounder at Heart) Five weeks ago the feelings would have been neutral or negative. But that changed dramatically in the secondary transfer window. He used TAM and GAM and a DP slot to reinvent the team on the fly. The final swoop to get a top five CB in CONCACAF (Román Torres) in addition to Paraguay's top striker, a quality creative winger from Austria and a former fan favorite was as close to perfect as the window could be. Anyone that doesn't like Lagerwey now, never will.
RSL Soapbox) What is Brad Evan's best position and is he being properly utilized in Seattle?
Sounder at Heart) Evans' best position is "on the field." He quickly adapted to centerback and that looked like a great move. Seattle hadn't had an effective possession CB until B-Rad stepped into that role. He's also been a great right back, as we've seen with the US National Team. Last week his time as a defensive mid going up against Kaká was nearly perfect, against Kaká. He's played well as a right mid, a left mid and pretty alright as a box-to-box central mid. The easier question to answer is "What is Brad's worst position?" And he was a bad forward. Anywhere else he is more than a success, but a fringe USMNT player.
Projected Lineup: Frei; Fisher, Torres, Marshall, Mears; Neagle, Evans, Friberg, Rose; Martins, Haedo Valdez
For RSL Soapbox's answers to Sounder at Heart's questions, go here.