2015 MLS season preview: Seattle Sounders
- Seattle won two of three titles in 2014, the Open Cup and Supporters’ Shield
- They once again lost to LA in the playoffs
- Dempsey, Martins and Alonso are Seattle’s three DPs
[ MORE: All of PST’s MLS previews for 2015 ]
Key player: Obafemi Martins
The Nigerian striker scored 19 goals and added 15 assists in the 2014 regular season and many are touting him to be the top scorer in MLS in 2015. His power and pace make him a perfect fit for the Sounders and at the age of 30 he is in his prime. Martins signed a new three-year deal at the end of 2014 and his goals, plus his partnership with U.S. national team captain Clint Dempsey, is essential to Seattle’s success. Can other MLS defenses keep him quiet in 2015? Expect to see plenty more triple somersault goal celebrations from the former Inter Milan star in 2015...
Other names to watch: Clint Dempsey, Osvaldo Alonso, Tyrone Mears
Head coach: Sigi Schmid
A legend of MLS, Schmid came so close to delivering the perfect season in 2014. Seattle won the U.S. Open Cup title (their fourth in the last six years) and the MLS Supporters’ Shield but lost to the LA Galaxy in the Western Conference finals. That elusive MLS Cup appearance continues to evade the Sounders and Schmid. That said, his overhaul of the squad last season was impressive as he brought in plenty of MLS experience to help out his talented stars. Expect some younger kids to get a chance, plus some other shrewd pickups as Garth Lagerwey is his new GM in the Emerald City this season, but at the age of 61, Schmid will want to win an MLS Cup title with a third different franchise. He is adored by the fans in Seattle and he adores them. Schmid will be eager to better last season as his stacked squad have MLS Cup in their sights.
Outlook for 2015
Okay, so the goal every season for Seattle is to win MLS Cup. Since arriving in the league in 2009 they have failed to do that. But last season was arguably their best every MLS campaign and Schmid won’t have to change much over the offseason to get his squad ready for another push toward the title. Strength in depth is key and having Martins, Dempsey and Osvaldo Alonso’s star power will set them above most teams out West, and they have brought in Tyrone Mears to replace DeAndre Yedlin. The Gold Cup this summer could see them without a few key players, but they have enough talent to get over that. Expect Seattle to challenge LA for the West once again as a postseason berth is locked down.