SEATTLE - JULY 16: Roger Levesque #24 of the Seattle Sounders FC battles Marvell Wynne #22 of the Colorado Rapids at CenturyLink Field on July 16, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. The Sounders defeated the Rapids 4-3. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Apologies for not having a Thugcast this week, I had a few issues with timing this week so Ben and I never got together to record one. Instead, we bring you a Thursday spectacular questionnaire with SB Nation's Seattle Sounders blog Sounder at Heart ahead of the game between them and the Rapids on Saturday. Dave Clark was kind enough to answer my queries about the Sounders including, of course, a question about Brian Mullan.
My questions to him about Seattle are below, you can find my answers to his Rapids related questions over on Sounder at Heart.
BW: How did Sounders fans react on the whole to the Eddie Johnson trade, and who do you expect to replace Fucito and Neagle as the young bench spark sort of guys?
SaH: Sounders fans as a whole like the deal. Those few times when Eddie Johnson played so far he's been met with huge positive emotions. The little part of Sounder-dom called Sounder at Heart is a bit more cautious. Obviously a large part of that is because of a majority of the site's authors were fans of Fucito, but also because there is some caution based on EJ's recent history.
When EJ is the starter the bench offense will be David Estrada and Christian Sivebaek with Cordell Cato and Steve Zakuani eventually breaking into that role. There's also the option of Sammy Ochoa to play as a back to goal, big target man. Eventually that will be a great set of attacking options, but right now with two of those being newcomers to the league, two injured early in the season and Ochoa being off form, there are some issues with bench scoring right now.
BW: How has Michael Gspurning been in replacing Kasey Keller? Better than expected? And what has been expected of him replacing a great keeper like that?
SaH: Gspurning is more than adequate. He's not the leader of the backline that Keller was, but that isn't surprising. He's not a legend and English isn't his native tongue. His distribution is a bit different, not better or worse, just different. He's better on crosses, maybe a weaker shot stopper, but hard to know with so few shots on goal against. The most unique thing is that his first touch is strong enough that Seattle is more willing to pass back to him to get space and set up an attacking move. People have been patient and he's quickly earning the respect of the fanbase.
BW: Speaking of Mullan, do you think that him getting the start on Saturday and getting the Sounder fan treatment for a game (combined with Zakuani coming back some time soon) will placate the need for blood by the Sounders fanbase or is this more of a 'never forget' situation regardless of what happens on Saturday?
SaH: I'm a lot like you. I want it done and gone. My hope is that Mullan plays this game and faces boos as loud and vigorous as any player in the history of sport. That should be enough, that should provide a sense of partial closure. The other moment being Zakuani's return to competitive play. There will always be a group of Sounders fans that will never let this die. I just want that to be a very small group, and the sooner Brian Mullan plays in Seattle the sooner we know how small it is.
Thanks again to Dave at SaH, check out their blog for all the Sounders news you could ever want.