- Associated Press - Friday, March 7, 2014


LAST YEAR: 15-12-7 (Fourth in Western Conference; lost to Portland in conference semifinals).

WHO’S BACK: F Obafemi Martins, M Clint Dempsey, M Brad Evans, M Lamar Neagle, M Osvaldo Alonso, D Zach Scott, D Leo Gonzalez, D DeAndre Yedlin, D Djimi Traore, GK Marcus Hahnemann,

WHO’S GONE: F Eddie Johnson, M Mauro Rosales, D Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, D Patrick Ianni, M Alex Caskey, GK Michael Gspurning.

WHO’S NEW: F Kenny Cooper, F Chad Barrett, F Tristan Bowen, M Marco Pappa, D Chad Marshall, GK Stefan Frei.

WHAT’S AHEAD: After a late-season slide cost Seattle a chance at the Supporters’ Shield and a semifinal round loss to rival Portland, the Sounders overhauled their roster. Johnson was the most notable departure but the moves Seattle made were significant in changing the locker room as much as who takes the field. Dempsey will miss chunks of the season because of his U.S. national team duties. The midfield will be the Sounders’ strength with Dempsey, Evans, Pappa and Alsonso, but the biggest addition could be Chad Marshall as the anchor to a defense that struggled for stretches last season. Frei is back after barely playing the last two seasons because of injuries. Finding scoring will be the question with Johnson gone, but Seattle hopes the combo of Martins and Cooper can work with the talented midfield to keep goals coming.

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