The last time fans saw Seattle Sounders FC in MLS play, they were walking off the pitch in Portland with a season-ending loss, their sixth defeat over their final eight games.
Sounders management reacted to that disappointing end by reworking the team’s roster.
Mean- while, the surviving players could only wait out their chance to redeem themselves with the coming of a new season.
That wait ends today, as the Sounders open their sixth Major League Soccer season at noon against defending MLS Cup champion Sporting Kansas City.
“I think (the players) have been waiting for the start of the season since the end of last season,” coach Sigi Schmid said Friday. “… I think all of our guys who were with us last year realize that that wasn’t a true reflection of what they’re all about. … And what you want to do as a player when you have a season end like that is you just want the next season to start.”
Fewer than half of the Sounders who started that final match of 2013 remain with the club: defenders DeAndre Yedlin and Djimi Traore, and midfielders Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso and Clint Dempsey.
Dempsey took part in his first training session in Seattle on Friday after spending two months on loan with Fulham of the English Premier League and with the United States national team. Despite that busy schedule, Schmid said Dempsey will be in uniform today.