2013 Sounders Team Preview: The Defenders

The Sounders backline has taken a number of shapes over the last year or so. With some key players missing and a few fresh faces, the unit should adopt a new personality in 2013.

Returning players: RB Adam Johansson (2012: 21 GP, 21 GS, 1834 min, 0 G, 2 A); RB/CB Zach Scott (2012: 20 GP, 16 GS, 1437 min, 1 G, 1 A; Career: 45 GP, 35 GS, 3153 min, 1 G, 1 A); CB Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (2012: 22 GP, 20 GS, 1791 min, 0 G, 1 A; Career: 81 GP, 78 GS, 6880 min, 1 G, 3 A); CB Patrick Ianni (2012: 16 GP, 15 GS, 1357 min, 1 G, 0 A; Career: 109 GP, 80 GS, 7760 min, 4 G, 3 A); CB Andrew Duran; LB Marc Burch (2012: 29 GP, 19 GS, 1824 min, 0 G, 3 A; Career: 132 GP, 100 GS, 9159 min, 3 G, 13 A); LB Leo Gonzalez (2012: 19 GP, 15 GS, 1377 min, 0 G, 0 A; Career: 71 GP, 65 GS, 5772 min, 1 G, 2 A).

Additions: RB DeAndre Yedlin (19-year-old Homegrown Player); CB Djimi Traore (32 years old from Marseille in France); CB Eriq Zavaleta (20 years old from Indiana University); LB Dylan Remick (21 years old from Brown University).

Losses: CB Jeff Parke (2012: 30 GP, 29 GS, 2568 minutes, 0 G, 1 A; Career: 210 GP, 203 GS, 17720 min, 2 G, 5 A, now with Philadelphia Union); LB Michael Tetteh.

Spotlight: Traore brings loads of championship experience to the Sounders FC backline. In 2005, he won the UEFA Champions League with Liverpool, where he also won the 2003 League Cup and the 2006 FA Cup. On his last stop in Europe before coming stateside, he was on the Marseille team that won the French League Cup. At 32, he still has a lot of soccer left to play and has been a welcome addition in Sounders camp, particularly following the loss of Parke via trade and a preseason injury to Ianni that will have him working to get back on the field in the coming weeks.

Overview: Traore partnered well with Hurtado in preseason and the Sounders have two starting-quality left backs in Burch and Gonzalez. With the preseason emergence of youngster Yedlin, the Sounders can comfortably say they are two-deep at each position along the backline. Scott’s versatility make him a solid complementary player at any position along the back four and he has shown that he’s capable of starting in any defensive role. As they have throughout their history, the Sounders have rebuilt their defense despite losing pieces in the off-season. In the past, it has been Tyrone Marshall, James Riley, Tyson Wahl and Nathan Sturgis – veteran defenders who made their marks with Seattle, but left holes with their departures. This year, it is Parke, but the Sounders look to have filled the gap and hope to come out a more cohesive unit.

Other Positions: Goalkeepers | Defenders | Midfielders | Forwards

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