Seattle Sounders FC

Seattle Sounders backed for MLS Cup challenge by Garth Lagerwey

Chris Smith
Lagerwey is anticipating more success for the Sounders.
Lagerwey is anticipating more success for the Sounders. / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Sounders' Concacaf Champions League triumph was a landmark moment for both the club and Major League Soccer but, domestically, things haven't been going so well.

Seattle have been unable to gather any sort of consistency through 2022, winning back-to-back MLS games on just two occasions and losing exactly half of their 24 regular-season games so far.

The Rave Green host Real Salt Lake on Sunday and head into the weekend eighth in the Western Conference, one place and one point below arch-rivals Portland Timbers in the final Playoff spot.

But the Sounders have been in this position plenty of times before and always seem to find what's required. MLS Cup remains the aim, even now.

“Our belief is that we’re going to take a shot at this thing and we’re going to contend for MLS Cup,” Sounders general manager and president of soccer Garth Lagerwey said on Thursday.

The Sounders' domestic form hasn't been helped by injuries to key players, with midfielders Joao Paulo (ACL) and Obed Vargas (back) both currently sidelined, while the likes of Raul Ruidiaz and Yeimar Gomez have missed spells throughout this season.

Even so, Seattle were reluctant to push through any major transfer business during the recent summer transfer window, unwilling to push out an existing member of a CCL-winning squad to fill temporary gaps.

“That’s a really bad message,” Lagerwey said of potentially selling existing pieces to make way for new players.

He added: “We believe in them and we should believe in them because this was the best team on the continent three months ago...It was the most tricky window we’ve ever had in terms of trying to thread a needle.

“Ultimately it was a little frustrating from a front-office perspective. Not surprisingly frustrating, but what we were doing was very difficult and there wasn’t a lot of ways to succeed.”

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