The Seattle Sounders’ recent run of form reminds me how lucky we all are as Sounders fans. The roster is depleted and we lack quality depth at key positions, so we sign Erik Friberg and Thomas. We still have to see how these two signings will work out, but one thing is clear: no one involved with this team thinks good is good enough.
There is a difference between wanting to be good and being good. I am sure NYCFC and Philly want to be good, they just don’t have the organization to manifest that desire. Seattle does. We have ownership and a front office committed to a quality product. Adrian and company want to win. Badly. When L.A. trounced us in the 2012 Western Conference Finals, we went out and got Obafemi Martins. When Dempsey became available, we got him too. Hell this offseason after the Supporters’ Shield and US Open Cup double, Seattle added the best GM in MLS, Garth Lagerwey, to the team. The Sounders are solid team and culture builders.
The Tyrone Mears acquisition is a fine example of deft roster work. After only two seasons, DeAndre Yedlin was so good he jumped ship to Tottenham. His departure left Seattle with a huge hole in the roster. Instead of just leaving the fullback spots to Leo and Remick, we added competition with Mears. We took a low-risk chance on a high upside veteran, and it paid off. If Mears had proved to be an injury bust, we wouldn’t be out much money or forced to start an overmatched player.
In a bizarre alternate universe where the Sounders are terrible, trot out lineups devoid of star players, and lose regularly (i.e. every PTFCers’s wildest dream), we would’ve never signed Mears. We’d reach for overpriced names or settle for has-beens and cheaper options. Last Friday’s matchup against DC United was almost a window into this alternate universe. That game would’ve been one of the game you wait all season for. Your team can’t win, but the league leaders are coming to your house.
The game cast the plucky underdogs against the best. And for one brief moment it felt great to be thoroughly surprised by a Sounders’ victory. Despite the three straight losses, few of us fans are freaking out. And we’re a fan base (the fan base?) known for getting hysterical. I think we know now, fully, that we can trust our captains to steer the ship.