July 11, 2010 in Sports

Sounders strive for stability

Seattle looks inward for answers
Joshua Mayers Seattle Times
 

Wins are directly proportional to the cost of your phone bill, Sounders FC general manager Adrian Hanauer has learned.

“When you’re successful, lots of other teams want your players,” he said. “When you’re struggling those phone calls tend to dry up.”

Looking at Seattle’s 4-8-3 record, it’s safe to say Hanauer isn’t burning through his minutes.

With minimal interest in trades, coupled with complicated measures in the new collective-bargaining agreement (small rosters, minimal salary-cap space, guaranteed contracts, etc.), the Sounders’ turnaround is going to have to come from within.

And whether it’s with a new lineup, attitude or both, the Sounders kick off the second half of the MLS season today hosting FC Dallas at 7:30 p.m. at Qwest Field.

Hanauer said it might be time to shake up the lineup and inject some new energy into the team.

After Seattle’s 2-0 win over Los Angeles in a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal Wednesday, Hanauer said some of the Sounders youngsters are “breathing down the necks of some veterans and some superstars.”

Midfielders Miguel Montano, 19, and Michael Seamon, 21, have played well lately and have been moving up the depth chart.

The Sounders are also eagerly awaiting the return of Nate Jaqua to the starting lineup after the 6-foot-3 forward scored both goals against the Galaxy.

Someone will have to make up for the loss of star midfielder Freddie Ljungberg, who will miss Sunday’s game due to a minor ankle injury sustained this week in practice.

“You got to play with the players you have,” Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said, “and we want those players to go out there and perform, to play with a high level of desire and energy and get the result we’re looking for.”


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