1. Hey, so, things aren't going well, huh? What's that about?
[insert visual of The Scream]
It's bad. The results are worse than when Sigi lost his job. It's bad. The results are worse than when the team went out and pumped big money into the 2015 Summer Transfer Window signing Valdez, Friberg, Torres and Ivanshitz. They were expected to struggle. Sounders fans saw Portland's regular season failures after their Cup. We pointed fingers, and laughed.
Maybe this is a cosmic curse due to that.
The problems, in no particular order. They possess without purpose. The attack has decent opportunities they don't finish. They give up the first goal too often. The defense is usually third string due to injuries. Too many road games were on the early schedule.
2. Do you still believe in Garth Lagerwey?
Yes. He's made a couple errors, but mostly on the backend of the roster. The concepts he's instilling feel sound, but due to a massive amount injuries the lack of competition on the replacement level side of the roster they are buried playing 4th/5th string players who didn't earn the start, but instead are just healthy bodies. It's not fair to those back end players.
The team is short another veteran who can play fullback and another forward who specializes in hold up play. Neither of those need to be expensive players, just good enough to force competition within the 18. They also need to fill that third DP spot at either forward or winger, and hopefully young enough that they extend the trophy window past Dempsey's contract ending.
These are things that should work out, but if they don't then the opportunity to implement a long-term vision will be crushed by short-term problems.
3. If you could bring in one top-level player in any position, what position would that be? What's the biggest need your team faces?
I want a winger, a DP version of 2011 Steve Zakauni. They need someone who is aggressive towards goal, who can assist on occasion, and who has the burst of speed that works well with Jordan Morris. Adding that type of talent, preferably under 25 would take an offense that is good but underperforming to great.
An argument could be made for a Fenendo Adi type target forward as well. That would result in Morris being forced to become a winger, but I don't like his defense out wide. Maybe he could learn that part of the game, but I think results come faster if Jordan can remain a forward who sometimes plays wing rather than a convert to winger.
Can I also take Yedlin back? That would be cool. Not a good use of a DP slot, but cool.
Projected Lineup: Stefan Frei; Joevin Jones, Chad Marshall, Gustav Svensson, Brad Evans; Osvaldo Alonso, Cristian Roldan; Harry Shipp, Clint Dempsey, Nicolas Lodeiro; Jordan Morris