3. Seattle Sounders
The MLS Cup champions being among the top five contenders shouldn’t be surprising. The Seattle Sounders finished second in the West last year and defeated FC Dallas, RSL and LAFC on their way to beating Toronto 3-1 in MLS Cup. It was their second cup title in four years and the third time in four seasons they made it to the final.
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The Sounders return the core of their team. Any day they can trot out the likes of Jordan Morris, Raul Ruidiaz, Nico Lodeiro and Cristian Roldan, they will. have a good chance to win any game. That’s especially true at home, where they lost just twice last year. They’ve now added new DP midfielder, Joao Paulo, from Brazil and center-back Yeimar Gomez from Argentina to likely partner with Xavier Arreaga.
Their defensive depth in 2020 could be a cause for concern with the likes of Roman Torres, Brad Smith, Chad Marshall and Kim Kee-hee all departing, as is their participation in the CCL. General manager and president of soccer Garth Lagerwey has openly stated his desire to go far and try to win the competition this year.
That’s awesome to hear for MLS supporters, but it could make for some heavy squad rotation in the early stages of the season should they progress. The other concern is Lodeiro’s health as he’s been dealing with tendonitis in his hamstring. He sat out Leg 1 in CCL vs Olimpia and any prolonged absence during the season would be a big setback for Seattle. Assuming he remains healthy, the Sounders have the talent to once again be playing soccer late into the fall.