1. Top of the table after Week 12, most goals scored, least conceded - what's to complain about in Seattle?
There's some questions about depth. The best third forward happens to be a regular wide midfielder. The best backup wide mids are forward Chad Barrett or center mids Andy Rose and Cristian Roldan. Considering that Clint Dempsey will probably be at the Gold Cup and Brad Evans might be there too that depth starts to become vital. Throw in injuries like the ankle thing plaguing Gonzalo Pineda and the US Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League the Seattle Sounders can't be a team that's only 12 or 13 players deep. They'll need to go to 16 deep or more to have success in every tournament and the regular season. So far signs are pretty good, but there shouldn't be confidence in the depth, yet.
2. The Sounders are playing their third match in eight days. Will this have an impact on the squad?
The win Wednesday featured a lot of rotation. Rotational players started at left back, centerback, center mid and as one of the wide mids. Plus Obafemi took a couple weeks off with some thing called a tibulal contusion and didn't go 90. That should set Seattle up well to re-insert reigning Defensive Player of the Year Chad Marshall into the backline while slapping some speed out wide through Dylan Remick and/or Lamar Neagle. Pineda may not be back from his ankle issues. Overall, the squad is set-up well for this third match in the crowded week.
3. How has Seattle managed to be one of the better passing teams in recent MLS history?
Alonso and his center mid partner (Rose or Pineda) play really simple passes to each other as the rest of the offense gets set up. That might account for 5-10% of the passes the club has, so the numbers are slightly inflated. The rest of it is because without true wingers the Sounders will look for a quick strike counter to Dempsey/Martins and if it isn't there one or both drop back and create 4-5-1 or 4-6-0s in a possession mode. That central third possession isn't about a possession theory, but looking to create a rapid sequence that springs one of those two through a line or two. They play cycles of passes and bore defenders a bit. And then it gets funky. A tiny hole opens and they are off effectively creating the type of play that you see on a counter out of possession. It is not a possession style that climbs the field like rungs on a ladder, but instead one hovers patiently until it strikes like a cobra.
Significant Absences: Pineda is questionable. Martins broke his nose and may play with a mask.
Projected Lineup: Frei; Remick, Marshall, Evans, Mears; Roldan, Rose, Alonso, Pappa; Dempsey, Martins
Thanks to Dave for talking to us. Follow him on Twitter.