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Seattle Sounders 2018 season preview: Roster, projected lineup, schedule, national TV and more

21:30 SAST 2018/02/16
Clint Dempsey Victor Rodriguez MLS Seattle Sounders 11022017
Following back-to-back trips to the MLS Cup final and a title in 2016, will the Sounders have enough to win the West again?

Following an MLS Cup title in 2016, the Seattle Sounders, in their first full season under Brian Schmetzer, came up just short in their bid for back-to-back crowns.

The core of the group returns for Seattle and, with the addition of a few fresh faces, the Sounders have the depth and the quality to challenge once again. 

But will Schmetzer and company be able to get the most out of an aging roster and bring home another title?

How did the Seattle Sounders perform in 2017?

2017 finish: Second in Western Conference (14-9-11), lost to Toronto FC in the MLS Cup final. 

Seattle finished level on points with Portland at the top of the Western Conference in the regular season but finished second in the table because the Timbers had more wins.

After a run through the Western Conference playoffs that featured comfortable wins over the Vancouver Whitecaps and Houston Dynamo, the Sounders found themselves outclassed in the final against a historically strong Toronto team, falling 2-0. 

Seattle's key offseason losses

The most notable loss for the Sounders was Joevin Jones, who moved to Darmstadt on a free transfer. The left back, who also spent a good amount of time on the wing for Seattle, was second on the team in assists in 2017. 

Goalkeeper Tyler Miller, midfielder Aaron Kovar and defender Oniel Fisher are among the list of bit-part players to have also left Seattle this offseason, though none of them compares to Jones in terms of production for the Sounders.

The club also saw veteran defender-midfielder Brad Evans, who had struggled with injuries in recent years, depart for Sporting Kansas City.

Seattle's key offseason additions

The Sounders acquired Waylon Francis from the Columbus Crew in a trade and the defender looks set to compete for a starting spot. 

Seattle also brought in midfielder Magnus Wolff Eikrem, who adds depth to a group already loaded with high-end MLS players. 

Center back Kim Kee-hee was brought in using targeted allocation money, giving the club another solid option at the back. 

Full Seattle Sounders roster entering 2018 season

Goalkeepers: Stefan Frei, Bryan Meredith, Calle Brown

Defenders: Tony Alfaro, Markus Fjortoft, Waylon Francis, Caleb Duvernay, Kelvin Leerdam, Chad Marshall, Jordan McCrary, Nouhou, Roman Torres, Kim Kee-hee

Midfielders: Osvaldo Alonso, Handwalla Bwana, Jordy Delem, Magnus Wolff Eikrem, Nicolás Lodeiro, Zach Mathers, Víctor Rodríguez, Alex Roldan, Harry Shipp, Gustav Svensson, Henry Wingo, Lamar Neagle

Forwards: Seyi Adekoya, Will Bruin, Clint Dempsey, Jordan Morris (out for the season with injury)

Seattle Sounders projected starting lineup

The Sounders took a massive loss with an injury to Jordan Morris that will see him miss the entire season, leaving a massive gap for the club to fill up top. 

Will Bruin will likely be the first one tasked with leading the line, though Clint Dempsey could be asked to go it alone up top or join Bruin in a two-man forward setup, possibly opening up another spot in the middle of the park for the likes of Magnus Wolff Eikrem, Harry Shipp, Lamar Neagle or Gustav Svensson to fill. 

The addition of Kim Kee-hee gives Seattle another option along a back line that looks to have found its replacement for Joevin Jones in the form of Waylon Francis. 

Seattle Sounders' national TV coverage

Seattle Sounders vs. Los Angeles FC - Sunday, March 4, at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN

Sporting Kansas City vs. Seattle Sounders - Saturday, April 15, at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN

Seattle Sounders vs. Minnesota United - Sunday, April 22, at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN

Los Angeles FC vs. Seattle Sounders - Sunday, April 29, at 9 p.m. ET on FS1

Toronto FC vs. Seattle Sounders - Wednesday, May 9, at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1

Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders - Sunday, May 13, at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN

Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers - Saturday, June 30, at 4:30 p.m. ET on Fox

Atlanta United vs. Seattle Sounders - Sunday, June 24, at 2 p.m. ET on Fox

New York City FC vs. Seattle Sounders - Saturday, July 29, at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN

Seattle Sounders vs. FC Dallas - Sunday, Aug. 12, at 8 p.m. ET on FS1

Seattle Sounders vs. LA Galaxy - Saturday, Aug. 18, at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders - Sunday, Aug. 26, at 9:30 p.m. ET on FS1

LA Galaxy vs. Seattle Sounders - Sunday, Sept. 23, at 7 p.m. ET on FS1