Seattle Sounders Past, Present and Future: Fredy Montero, Obafemi Martins and Onyekachi Apam

Forgetting the debacle at New York and turning our attention to some of the many positive reports out of Seattle Sounders land:

In case you haven’t seen this, Fredy Montero got a nice little write-up on the MLS site. I was always a Fredy fan (I have a soft spot in my heart for mercurial genius) and I am glad he is living his dream and playing in Europe. I wish him boatloads of success, though part of me is heartened that Sporting Lisbon fans now know what it’s like to suffer through one of Fredy’s cold spells. Man, was he streaky. However, he’s always welcome in Rave Green. I do look forward to the day when he comes back to play out his career back in his adopted hometown.

When the Sounders return home, after wrapping up their epic road trip, they’ll be joined by new teammate, Nigerian international, Onyekachi Apam. Seattle announced his signing last weekend. In a nutshell: Apam is a veteran centerback with a decorated club and international career. He was captain at OGC Nice in France’s Ligue 1 before transferring to Rennes, and played on Nigeria’s 2008 silver medal winning Olympic team. He is still young, only 27, and as recently as last year was courting interest from the E.P.L. But injuries have plagued his career and recently found him unemployed.

Let’s be honest, we need help at centerback. Djimi Traore looks cooked. Last year, Djimi was a revelation but this year he’s turned into a pumpkin. Zach Scott, love him to death, but there’s a problem when he’s an unquestioned starter at centerback. And Jalil Anibaba has been a disappointment when was supposed to be the centerback of the future. I strongly wonder if Apam’s signing could be the end of Anibaba’s time in the Emerald City.

Anibaba was billed as a young veteran centerback with pace who could play outside or inside. Curious because that’s exactly how Sigi recently described Apam. Maybe back in the offseason, GM Adrian Hanaeur had this prototype in mind and sent Chris Henderson out to find this “young veteran CB with lineup flexibility and pace.” He and Henderson traded for Anibaba but are now admitting that he doesn’t fit the bill. What’s odd is that Apam was signed pretty much blind. Allegedly everyone is just taking Obafmei Martins’s word on this one. I don’t know enough about Apam to figure if he will see significant minutes starting this season, or if he was merely an insurance policy, but I am breathing easier knowing we have someone, anyone, who can play centerback that isn’t named Anibaba.

Speaking of signing Nigerians, it is being reported that the Sounders just re-upped Oba’s contract to the tune of $6+ million over two years. If these numbers prove true, Oba just doubled his salary. Hell, if I crapped money I’d have paid the man even more. It is a damn joy to watch him play.

Alrighty Sounders fans, enjoy your Tuesday. It is our last day to breath easy and not stressing about the Supporters’ Shield, the Treble, or our soccer destiny this season.

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