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January 19, 2011 at 3:04 PM

A look at the Sounders FC preseason roster after the drafts

nkufo2011.jpgPhoto credit: Josh Umphrey, Getty Images

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Goalkeepers (4): Kasey Keller, Terry Boss, Bryan Meredith, Josh Ford

IN: Chris Seitz (re-entry draft), Meredith (SuperDraft), Ford (Supplemental Draft). OUT: Seitz (trade with FC Dallas)

Keller is the obvious starter and Boss comes in as the backup. Competition for the No. 3 spot will be interesting to follow as both Meredith and Ford were highly regarded coming out of college. So is the starting goalkeeper for the 2012 season on the roster? How these guys look this year could be the key factor there.

Defenders (13): Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Jeff Parke, James Riley, Leo Gonzalez, Patrick Ianni, Taylor Graham, Tyson Wahl, Zach Scott, Julien Baudet, Danny Earls, Michael Tetteh, Leone Cruz, Corey Attaway.

IN: Baudet and Earls (via trade with Colorado), Tetteh and Cruz (SuperDraft), Attaway (Supplemental Draft). OUT: Tyrone Marshall (re-entry draft)

Lots of everything here. Lots of the same names. Lots of new faces. Lots of versatility. Most of all lots of uncertainty, especially after the first five or six guys. Left back is a position that looks to have a competition for a bench spot. Same with centerback. Tetteh could also fit in as a midfielder, and I’d expect quite a bit of movement here eventually.

Midfielders (12): Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Alvaro Fernandez, Steve Zakuani, Mike Seamon, Roger Levesque, David Estrada, Miguel Montano, Erik Friberg, Servando Carrasco, Alex Caskey, Sean Morris.

IN: Friberg (international signing), Carrasco and Caskey (SuperDraft), Morris (Supplemental Draft). OUT: Nathan Sturgis and Sanna Nyassi (expansion draft), Peter Vagenas (trade with Colorado).

The offseason departures hurt the team’s depth, so the new guys will have to perform. Again, the top five or six guys stand out, but a couple roster spots will be up in the air — especially since some guys listed at forward could help out at this position if needed. A lot of these guys can play both centrally and wide, which will help. Who do you will emerge from this group?

Forwards (6): Fredy Montero, Blaise Nkufo, Nate Jaqua, Mike Fucito, Pat Noonan, O’Brian White

IN: White (trade with Vancouver). Out: None.

None of Seattle’s eight draft picks were forwards. I wonder if that’s due to the quality of this year’s draft class or the confidence the team has in this group. I’m leaning toward the latter. Three of these guys were on Sounders FC’s protected list and Nkufo had an expensive option which made him somewhat unattractive in the expansion draft. Jaqua and Fucito are certainly hoping to bounce back from injury-plagued 2010 seasons. Montero is getting DP dollars now and White is somewhat of a wildcard. You’d like to see Seattle break out for more goals next year and we’ll see if these guys are up to the task.

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Subtotal (35): Like I mentioned last time, not all these players are under contract through 2011. The preseason roster will probably be somewhere around 40 when you consider the additions of trialists — those possibilities include Jamel Wallace, Tye Perdido, Lamar Neagle and others. Who knows? Maybe we’ll see a homegrown signing this season as well. Either way, training camp is going to be busy and competitive.

So what do you think of the group?

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