Monday, May 27, 2024

Summer window shopping

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We’re about two-and-a-half months out from the opening of MLS’s summer transfer window on July 18. Roughly one-third of the way into the season, the Seattle Sounders have had their moments here and there but are definitely performing and getting results well below the level that their talent should get them. The struggles have been particularly concentrated in the attack, suggesting that the area of the field most likely to be targeted for reinforcements would be among the four most advanced positions.

Ahead of the close of the winter window, the Sounders traded Xavier Arreaga to the New England Revolution in a move that opened up about $800k in salary cap space and his roster spot. With the release of the Roster Profiles from MLS we got confirmation that Seattle have a pair of international roster spots open and the ability to add one more U22 Initiative player, and there’s plenty of reason to believe that the team could also add a TAM player as well. We know that General Manager & Chief Soccer Officer Craig Waibel was recently in Europe to do some scouting, so we’re in prime position to do some wild speculation.

We don’t know where or who Waibel is scouting, so this list really is more speculation and a wishlist than anything else. That said, the choice of players here is informed by a few things. First, it’s probably safe to assume that at least some of the players being scouted could have been among those the team looked at in the winter when they were apparently looking at a “Scandinavian” player playing outside of their home country, along with Pedro de la Vega. Secondly, for this list, we’re primarily focusing on players who could be U22 signings, meaning that they have to be 22 or younger and can’t turn 23 during 2024, and while there’s no restriction on the fee that can be paid, they can’t make more than the Maximum Salary Budget Charge of $683,750. The Sounders probably aren’t going to pay an eight-figure fee, but there’s room and reason for them to splash a little bit. We’re also probably looking at players who don’t have a significant injury history – given the recent injury struggles of the team, that one should be pretty obvious. Lastly, with Raúl Ruidíaz likely in his final season with the team, a striker is going to be the primary focus with consideration for players who have the ability to play on the wings or as the 10 as well.

With all of that out of the way, let’s get wild!

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