3. Will the Sounders overcome key departures?
The Seattle Sounders have already made some key decisions during the offseason. This included declining the contract options for the likes of Roman Torres and Victor Rodriguez.
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When fit, Torres was an imposing figure in central defense, someone who inspired confidence in his teammates and intimidated the opposition. Meanwhile, Rodriguez concluded his productive time in Seattle in style by being named 2019 MLS Cup MVP, after scoring the second goal in the 3-1 win over Toronto FC.
The loss of Brad Smith is also a key blow, with his successful loan spell from AFC Bournemouth concluded and the player now considering his options. Seattle need to strengthen their defensive depth.
However, the reality is the Sounders have been here before and repeatedly shown their mental fortitude and strength-in-depth. This is best exemplified by previously losing stalwart leaders Clint Dempsey and Chad Marshall.
Making their respective losses even more impactful, consider that both happened during the season, Dempsey with an irregular heartbeat in 2016 and Marshall to retirement in 2019 after a right knee injury. In both cases though, the Sounders went on to win the MLS Cup; as always, the message is to never count this team out.