SEATTLE – Sounders FC’s 56 goals last season were by far the most in MLS. But will Seattle, seven weeks away from its first league game, be able to maintain that torrid scoring pace in 2012?
Signs point to yes.
The team’s nine offseason departures net a loss of just two of those 56 goals – midfielder Erik Friberg (who transferred to Swedish club Malmo FF) and defender Tyson Wahl (traded to expansion Montreal) had one apiece.
Of the 11 Sounders who had multiple MLS goals last year, all 11 are back in preseason training.
“We seem to have a bounty of personnel on offense – it’s a lot of fun,” forward Mike Fucito said. “Each guy brings his own style; it’s great.”
Due in part to the salary cap, team officials initially didn’t think they could keep their talented group together beyond three seasons. Successful roster juggling, however, has set up the power-packed Sounders for an MLS Cup run in Year 4.
“I don’t see a lot of weaknesses out there,” general manager Adrian Hanauer said. “(Will) we win an MLS Cup? I don’t know. But I know that this group is capable of winning an MLS Cup.”
Confidence is shared throughout the team.
“I think guys know what they are capable of accomplishing this year, as long as we go about our business well,” coach Sigi Schmid said.
By now, many Sounders fans know the usual suspects in the attack. Forward Fredy Montero, 24, has led the team in scoring the past three years and his 18 goals in all competitions last season were the most of any MLS player.
Midfielder Mauro Rosales, potentially the team’s third designated player in 2012, set a franchise record last year with 13 assists. Midfielder Alvaro Fernandez added nine goals.