Check out the blog post below and also this story for tomorrow’s paper to check out the issue of the day (at least from my coverage). Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid is concerned over the lack of preseason production from Fredy Montero, Blaise Nkufo, Steve Zakuani and Alvaro Fernandez.
Aside from two Montero PKs, the foursome has combined for zero goals this preseason. While exhibition games and goals don’t count, do they matter? And how much? Remember, that group will likely play just one more preseason game before the league opener on March 15.
1. So here’s the first question I pose to you…
Another issue I brought up with Schmid today was the idea of outplaying your opponent, but not having it reflected in the final score. I’m pretty sure Sounders FC fans are familiar with seeing their team outshoot the opponent, but fail to convert chances, while leaking goals on the counterattack.
Schmid argues — and I’d agree — that fans want to see an entertaining product. People want to see more possession, see the team advance up the field together, moving the ball, stringing together passes. But if it leaves Seattle more vulnerable in the back, is that really what you want?
2. What’s the balance of style and substance?
One of the reasons I bring that up is a matter of personnel. Sometimes when teams like to play entertaining soccer you see an attacking center mid or a No. 10 type of player that can create behind the front line. Barcelona obviously being the standard in that style of play. Sounders FC’s two center mids of Brad Evans and Osvaldo Alonso don’t exactly fit the established mold of guys that can string together passes, create, keep possession and get everyone involved. Nathan Sturgis was more than type of player, I’d argue, in some respects. Erik Friberg, the new Swedish midfielder, might be more suited for that style.
Some think Montero could fill that role as he drops back into more of a withdrawn forward, which is an option. Schmid said today at the summit that Alonso is getting better at that, adding the ability to link passes with his renowned ball-winning skills. With only two players, I’d argue, in the current starting lineup that can beat people with speed (Zakuani, Fernandez, who also have good technical skills) and a hold-up player like Nkufo, the ingredients are certainly there to make the possession game successful. There are faster forwards available on the bench in Mike Fucito and O’Brian White.
3. What has to happen to make the attacking style work?
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Along with your votes I’m curious to hear your opinions on the subject. Feel free to sound off in the comments section.