The dust has settled on the 2009 Expansion Draft and Seattle looks like a real team now. Although I'm still hesitant to piece together a starting lineup as I think Seattle could turn around and deal half of these guys, the latest MLS team seems to have drafted players they plan on keeping and using.
Now the big question is will this team be halfway decent or will they be another expansion disaster?
There will be some growing pains, no doubt. Seattle can't expect to shoot out of the gates next season but at some point they will get their first win, their first unbeaten streak and their first signs of respectability.
Anyway, this team actually does not look terrible. I think with each passing year and each passing expansion draft, teams learn from others' mistakes and use all that information to their knowledge. Seattle won't be the favorites to win the West - at this point, Houston will be favored by most although RSL will undoubtedly be up there - but the Sounders may actually put up a fight.
So what will their team look like? Here's what their lineup could look like next season:
G: Kasey Keller
D: James Riley, Jeff Parke, Tyson Wahl, Nathan Sturgis
M: Sanna Nyassi, Brad Evans, Peter Vagenas, Freddie Ljungberg
F: Nate Jaqua, Sebastian LeToux
The back line lacks a true standout. Parke is out of contract and likely could wind up in Europe if an offer comes along. Seattle should still be in the market for a central defender and overall depth across the backline as that is the place where most expansion teams had struggled before the 'Quakes played well defensively a season ago.
I don't think that Seattle is done dealing. I think we could see a lineup that is quite different than this one come March. But time will tell if the Sounders approached this the right way.s