Notebook: GM Garth Lagerwey believes Sounders are ‘going to contend for MLS Cup’

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TUKWILA — The Sounders have set so many data for MLS, it was shocking for the membership to not be a part of one of the vital profitable achievements.

League commissioner Don Garber bragged once more Wednesday through the MLS All-Star sport telecast concerning the summer season switch window being the league’s most lively and worthwhile with an estimated $150 million made in exporting gamers. But Seattle didn’t make any strikes for the primary time in franchise historical past.

Predictable contemplating the group applauded itself final winter for less than having one participant — midfielder Jimmy Medranda — not signed via the 2023 season. The accounting wizardry was in effort to win the CONCACAF Champions League trophy along with one other MLS Cup, and the primary a part of the aim was achieved.

Garth Lagerwey, the Sounders basic supervisor and president of soccer, stated Thursday his workers was actively looking for a starting-caliber defensive midfielder or proper winger due accidents to Joao Paulo (ACL) and Obed Vargas (again), the latter not medically cleared to even jog. But the gives had been short-term and method beneath market worth as a result of the membership is unwilling to sacrifice a present participant to remain throughout the MLS wage cap.

“That’s a really bad message,” Lagerwey stated of breaking apart the roster that received the CCL title in May. “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.”

Lagerwey pivoted to the current success of the Sounders academy gamers and Tacoma Defiance being first in MLS Next Pro’s Western Conference standings as indicators there’s nonetheless expertise throughout the membership to drag from if wanted. The Sounders not too long ago bought two worldwide spots for a mixed $225,000 in 2023 General Allocation Money (GAM) that additionally may offset a signing.  

MLS golf equipment should submit their remaining 30-player roster by Sept. 2.

“Our belief is that we’re going to take a shot at this thing and we’re going to contend for MLS Cup,” Lagerwey stated.

Addressing the rumors

Talk of Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez becoming a member of the Sounders was simply that — discuss. Lagerwey stated nothing materialized to the purpose the place he was in touch with Suarez’s camp. Reports have Suarez wanting $12 million per 12 months.

“I would’ve been pretty surprised if he accepted what we offered,” Lagerwey stated.

Lagerwey additionally didn’t have any severe conversations about loaning any of the Sounders gamers out. Cameroonian defender Nouhou was pegged as a chance after his performances along with his nationwide staff and Seattle this 12 months.

Nouhou, Xavier Arreaga (Ecuador) and U.S. internationals Jordan Morris and Cristian Roldan are vying for spots on their respective nation’s FIFA World Cup Qatar rosters this fall. exhibiting may draw curiosity in January.

“What you’re seeing is far less a reflection of our guys and far more a reflection of the toll that COVID has taken on the soccer ecosystem,” Lagerwey stated of the continuing pandemic. “The top 15 or so clubs in the world, you’re still reading the headlines and they’re still doing fine. They have global marketing deals and they’re buying players.

“If you look at the middle class, the next tier where MLS players are being sold into more frequently, those teams have not recovered yet. They don’t have the funds that they had three years ago. The market is still slow, that’s what we’re dealing with.”

In phrases of his personal rumored departure for the same place with Atlanta United, Lagerwey saved the concentrate on the upcoming basic supervisor vote. The Sounders FC Alliance members are the one followers who’ve the ability to find out the destiny of an MLS GM, ought to 40% of the bottom take part.

The vote happens each 4 years, Lagerwey retaining his place in 2018, though it wasn’t legitimate as a result of solely 37.2% of eligible voters participated.

“You’re going to have speculation about my position,” Lagerwey stated. “We’ve done well on all aspects of the organization and hopefully that’s enough to be retained in the vote that’s coming up.”

Club World Cup dates?

While MLS is winding down, different leagues throughout the globe are beginning their 2022-23 slate, that means FIFA ought to be setting the Club World Cup competitors format and dates quickly. The governing physique not doing so has created uncertainty concerning the occasion.

By profitable the CCL title, the Sounders certified together with Real Madrid (Europe) and Wydad AC (Africa). The OFC Champions League is about to crown their winner subsequent week. The Copa Libertadores (South America) and Chinese Super League are set for this fall, however Asia’s AFC Champions League received’t know its winner till February 2023 — when the Club World Cup sometimes takes place.

The Sounders haven’t any perception into the scheduling course of.

“I have every belief that it’s going to happen in February, it’s going to be the same format as it was before with seven teams,” Lagerwey stated. “I have no information that leads me to believe it’s going to be radically different. But I have nothing in writing that says it’s here, it’s done.”



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