With the season over for the Seattle Sounders, that means we have nearly four months to fill without the Rave Green. Inevitably, those months will involve much discussion over who the Sounders should protect, who the Sounders should allow to leave, and who amongst the Sounders might be heading for pastures of a different green. With the expansion draft not until November 24, we'll save the discussion on who Seattle should protect for next week. Instead, I'd like to take a look at the three players I consider the most valuable to the Sounders: Fredy Montero, Alvaro Fernandez and Osvaldo Alonso.
Now, we could argue for weeks, possibly for the entire offseason, as to whether or not those three players are most essential to Seattle. Rest assured, I will spend many columns doing my best to prove why it is that this trio tops my list. But for today, I'd like to keep things a bit more light-hearted, and simply share comments each of the three made during Monday's media day-and give a worst / best case scenario for each:
Osvaldo Alonso: Everyone's favorite Cuban defector was asked about his concerns over teammates leaving in the offseason. Ossie's response?
"It's a little troubling and worrisome that someone is going to leave but it's the nature of the game. If someone goes then hopefully it will be good for their future and good for that team as well."
Worst Case Scenario: OhmygodFredy'sleaving get the paper bags get the ambulance on speed dial ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
Best Case Scenario: Ossie's made friends with midfield partner Nathan Sturgis and the Sounders don't plan on protecting him in the expansion draft.
Álvaro Fernández: The Uruguayan was asked about whether he'd be headed south for a bit. El Flaco had this to say:
"I'm trying to get out of here as soon as possible and just want to get home to be with my wife and son."
Worst Case Scenario: Sigi Schmid didn't play Fernández enough and he wants to be on a plane, back in South America, as soon as possible. He's probably thinking there's an Italian team out there that would respect him more, and know how to use him. Possibly as a partner for fellow countryman Edinson Cavani.
Best Case Scenario: He just wants to head home to pack up his corazón and new little baby and get back to Seattle as soon as possible. After all, Fernández also said, "Being so far from my family was difficult but next year will be a lot different because my family will be here with me.
Fredy Montero: With the news about Montero's green card and the fact that he bought a house in the Seattle area, many Sounders supporters expected to see him signed as their third Designated Player. However, when the Columbian was asked about his future, he said:
"For sure the first option is to stay here, but I also need to keep my eye on what else can happen. My family is an important factor in all my decision making."
Worst Case Scenario: Fredy is homesick and goes back to Columbia? No, that seems too crazy, even for this day of hyperbole. How Montero's family fits in with his decision to stay in Seattle-considering he means his extended family, as he is not married-is hard to determine. Perhaps his family would rather he play in Europe? This statement is worrisome because Montero is obviously still weighing his options, and the idea of him leaving is too depressing to even joke about.
Best Case Scenario: Montero stays! The Sounders' diminutive trickster is just joking around-he's already in talks to extend his time in Seattle. Considering he bought a house, he was probably just waiting for the season to finish to enter into serious contract negotiations. Whew. No need for me to break out the emergency cookie dough just yet.
Thoughts? What are your worst fears? Your biggest hopes?