Returning players: Michael Gspurning (2012: 21 GS, 0.73 GAA, 12-4-5, 8 SO); Marcus Hahnemann; Josh Ford.
Losses: Andrew Weber (2012: 3 GS, 1.60 GAA, 0-1-1; Career: 5 GS, 1.56 GAA, 1-1-2); Bryan Meredith (2012: 10 GS, 1.27 GAA, 3-3-5, 3 SO)
Spotlight: Gspurning finished the 2012 season with the top goals against average in MLS at 0.73 – the best mark by an MLS goalkeeper from outside of CONCACAF in the league’s history and third best overall. However, he missed out on the Goalkeeper of the Year award, in large part because of the 13 matches he missed with a hip injury. Now fully healthy, the 6-foot-5 Austrian has his eyes on an even better year in 2013.
Overview: With Gspurning’s rampant success in his first year and Hahnemann’s success in Europe, Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid won’t spend too many nights worried about his goalkeeping. Gspurning opens as starter but has Hahnemann as his backup, giving the club an incredible security blanket but also providing an equally incredible competitor for Gspurning. Just days from retirement last year when he joined the Sounders late in the season, Hahnemann is now a fit and will be ready in the wings if he’s called upon.
Ford cannot be underestimated either. Though he has yet to appear in a competitive match for Seattle, his improvement since joining the club in 2011 has given the Sounders confidence in him as well.