The Sounders’ well-documented offensive struggles have cost the team a shot at a playoff berth and Sigi Schmid his job. Can Nicolas Lodeiro salvage anything for this season and beyond?
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The Sounders signed Designated Player Nicolas Lodeiro this week to add some scoring potential to the roster. Lodeiro, a 27-year-old attacking midfielder from Uruguay, comes to a downtrodden Sounders squad this year with plenty of questions about its future. What can Lodeiro bring to help the team for the rest of this season and beyond?
Lodeiro comes to the Sounders having played his last two seasons with Boca Juniors in Argentina. This level of competition has no-doubt battle hardened the midfielder who enters MLS play at the prime of his career. He has already made two World Cup appearances for Uruguay.
Lodeiro’s profile is that of an excellent offensive facilitator and goal scorer, something that the offensively-challenged Sounders desperately need. Unless the Sounders make an incredible run to dig themselves out of ninth place in the Western Conference, they will be on the outside looking in when MLS playoff time comes around again. They have missed former Designated Player Obafemi Martins immensely this year, and while Lodeiro won’t necessarily be the replacement they need to drive them to the postseason, he figures to provide a spark the team needs now and in the future.
Lodeiro’s addition signals the Sounders haven’t given up. At the very least, the Sounders hope to bring in Lodeiro into the fold next year when they can make a run at the MLS Cup under a new manager. We could see Lodeiro for interim Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer this weekend against the LA Galaxy. Who knows? A new coach and a new flashy player could spur the Sounders onto a late season run. Sounders GM Garth Lagerway has already called Lodeiro a “game-changer.” We’ll see if he’s right starting this weekend.