With news of Roman Torres’s season-ending injury, the Seattle Sounders must continue to evolve.
Yesterday’s injury update was a major, major killer. Torres was already a rock and a major plus to a team shaking off bad form to, hopefully, make an all-fire championship run. Now his Sounders 2015 season is over right as it started. Hey Roman, we’ll always have Olimpia. I’ll hold that image of you stoutly defending your captain and cold-blooded penalty shooter Brad Evans.
Speaking of Evans, he was assessed by the league’s concussion protocol and his health status is still uncertain. His positional status is uncertain as well. Will he move back to centerback with Torres out, or stay in midfield and let the totemic Zach Scott rock the backline? Whatever the recently returned Sigi decides, this team is still in flux.
Remember the springtime Sounders? That squad looked a lot like the 2014 team and was dominant. Seattle was building a huge Shield lead through 13 games (May 31st). They were averaging a tidy 2 points a game before injuries, suspensions and call-ups decimated the roster. The summer Sounders featured a motley crew of backups that limped through the worst run of form in franchise history, 8 losses in 9 games. The front office bolstered the roster with big and little signings to reshape the team: Friberg, Thomas, Valdez, Torres, Ivanschitz. Old stalwarts started to mend, Oba, Ozzie and Clint, and the September Sounders went on a three-game unbeaten streak. Now the wheel of fortune turns again.
The Sounders have little chance to create any kind of chemistry with such roster churn. Disappointing as the year’s been, the fact that we’re in sole possession of 4th place, while facing such adversity, is stunning. But it isn’t enough. 2015 was supposed to be Cup or bust. Things were looking grim in the summer, but we could rationalize as we had the reinforcements to look forward to. Now Seattle will go into the stretch run without Torres and with a banged-up Clint, Brad and Valdez. I hoped the rough patch would break us in, toughen us up for the grind of the playoffs and our eventual MLS Cup. That would’ve been a good story but now it may be just that, fiction.