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April 7, 2010 at 9:01 PM

My best shot at answering some of your questions, v1.0

What is Miguel Montano’s status and when will he see the pitch?
We asked GM Adrian Hanauer about this last week and he said Montano’s paperwork should be finalized by the April 15 deadline. When he’ll see the pitch is another matter.
Montano’s talent is unquestioned, but he is FAR from a finished product. From what I’ve seen in training, he likely won’t see action in an MLS game this season. Obviously I’m no coach or expert, but I see him being an active reserve for the early U.S. Open Cup games.
* * *
Will Noonan start this weekend? / How much rope does Levesque have?
Personally, I do not think Pat Noonan will start. I think Levesque gets the call again. At least that’s the choice I would make.
Noonan has been with the team for just 10 days now and I think he’ll be most effective off the bench, at least for this week. Though he is certainly a guy that could win the role on the right (heck, he might have already).
But I still think Levesque’s work rate and defensive effort are enough to stay in the starting lineup. A two-game sample size (which really wasn’t as bad as some people have said) isn’t enough to cancel out the great work he’s done in the preseason to win that role.
* * *

Considering RSL home record of past, is a tie a win for us this weekend?
I don’t think so. I don’t think Real Salt Lake is clearly the better team at all.
Sigi Schmid made a good point the other day. Things open up for Seatte’s offense on the road, since team’s generally don’t hold back and playing defensively at home. I expect a very entertaining game.
The expectations for this team have risen. A tie on the road isn’t a bad result, but it’s not a win.
* * *
When do schedules come out for Open Cup matches? Concacaf action?
Some of the early U.S. Open Cup matches are already being announced. But since Seattle has advanced past qualifying it might be a little bit until the team knows its first game.
I would think the CCL schedule won’t be out for a while since the 2009-10 tournament is still going on.
* * *
What formation do you think works best for the sounders given their current lineup?
I know this might seem like a bit of a cop-out answer, but I would pick the starting lineup we’ve seen so far.
My six reserves on the bench would be Boss, Ianni, Sturgis, Nyassi, Noonan, Fucito.
* * *
Now that all the English teams are officially out of the UCL, it seems like Barca are primed to repeat. And with Rooney out of the competition, no one is near Messi so he seems to have a leg up to repeat for the Ballon D’Or and WPOY. Whatcha think?
Give Messi this year’s award now. Heck, give him the award for the next five years too. He’s unbelievable.
* * *
Do you see the Sounders using their 2nd DP slot during the Summer transfer window?
Very possible. I absolutely 100% believe the team will get another DP and I’ll give a 80% chance they’ll have a third eventually.
BUT, it’s going to be a matter of finding the right fit — something that Kasey Keller strongly emphasized a while back. I don’t think the team will rush into getting another DP just to get another DP.
It’s going to happen though. Whether it’s by the summer transfer window, I’m not sure.
* * *
The Sounders had some amount of initial expansion allocation money that they had to use up by May. How much was that ($300k-$500k ?), and has it been used, or will it?
That I am not sure of. Not quite savvy to all those details yet.
* * *
Also, any word on trading Parke’s rights to NYRB or Philly?
I have not heard his name anywhere yet. But I have to imagine a trade is the most likely outcome from this saga. Seattle’s not just going to give him away though, because Parke is a solid MLS player and could be a starter for another team. I would say the price might be a 2nd-3rd round pick.
* * *
Lastly, besides Nkufo, can you see SSFC making another July Int’l pickup, be it DP or not?
I’ve said it 1,000 times before and I’ll say it again. This ownership group (throw technical director Chris Henderson in there too) is a bunch of go-getters. If the team is atop the table, they might not make a move. But if things aren’t right, I would certainly expect some moves to be made.
* * *
Any word on when we’ll hear who some of our 3 friendlies will be? And how is Estrada progressing in training? He looked decent in his debut.
I have not heard anything on the friendlies as yet. I know we knew all the friendlies by this time last year, but maybe the CBA issues delayed some of that work.
David Estrada has progressed very well. I remember watching him early on in training (after the La Manga trip) and thinking he might have a ways to go before contributing. Now I see someone that’s definitely getting comfortable out there.
He’s still got work to do. But he is much more polished now than he was a couple months ago.
* * *
How far away is Montano from getting some playing time with the team? Has he looked sharp in practice?
I kind of answered this one earlier. He’s very talented.
I mean he has ALL the tools. Pace, technical ability, size, a strong shot. But there are multiple times a day you’re reminded he’s 18 years old. Once we gets consistent though, watch out.
* * *
When will we get an announcement of the 3 friendlies?
And: Does the team have any position on including a USOC package like the playoff package for season ticket holders?
And: In May wil Concacaf CL games be at Qwest?

Very good questions. All of them.
I don’t have answers to those yet, but I’ll try to ask.
* * *
Given the new DP rule, can we expect the Sounders to take advantage of the opportunity in the near future and – if so – what type of player would we be looking for ?
Repeat question on when will the Sounders announce the timing and opposition for the 3 bonus matches.
Finally, Why is all the talk about Thierry Henry going to the Red Bulls ? Isn’t he exactly what WE need.

Hmmmmmmm, what DP possibilities would be a good fit for Seattle…
I’m open to reader feedback too. Maybe a veteran center mid type (Seedorf)? Or an experienced center back (Nesta)?
Henry has always been linked to New York because he has always said how much he loves the city. It’s all but assured that he’d go to the Red Bulls if/when he signs. But I agree, he’d be a great fit in Seattle. Why not get Dennis Bergkamp, Robert Pires and the rest of the Invincibles gang?
* * *
Why is Ljungberg occassionally put into the forward slot? Has it been considered to slide Montaro down into an attacking mid position, to be a playmaker, run at defenders and take shots further out? On corner kicks, are other alternatives than centering to the far corner practiced? If Montaro and Ljungberg were not forwards, out of the current healthy roster, who has the ability to finish on goal?
Nate Jaqua’s injury has changed it all up. Montero is a natural goal scorer, that’s why he’s highest up on the field now. I think ideally, the team would like to play both him and Ljungberg farther back, but the current personnel is dictating the formation right now.
If Fredy and Freddie weren’t up front, I think you’d see a combination of Noonan, Levesque and Fucito. I’d expect to see those guys up front in the U.S. Open Cup and such.


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