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Seattle Sounders Once Again Enter 2013 As An MLS Elite

By Aaron Campeau




SANDY, UT - NOVEMBER 8: Goalie Michael Gspurning #1 of the Seattle Sounders gathers the ball in during a game against Real Slat Lake during the first half of an MLS Western Conference Semifinals play-off soccer game November 8, 2012 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.(Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
SANDY, UT - NOVEMBER 8: Goalie Michael Gspurning #1 of the Seattle Sounders gathers the ball in during a game against Real Slat Lake during the first half of an MLS Western Conference Semifinals play-off soccer game November 8, 2012 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.(Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

Michael Gspurning’s 2012 season was disrupted by a hip injury that forced him to miss 13 consecutive games (during which the Sounders endured a nine-game winless streak) but when healthy he was one of the league’s best keepers. Veteran US international Marcus Hahnemann returns for another season as Gspurning’s backup, giving the Sounders the luxury of having a high-quality veteran backup keeper at an affordable cost, while promising youngster Josh Ford rounds out the net-minding corps. There is no club in the league in better shape at goalkeeper than the Sounders, and given their struggles without a top-caliber backup for Gspurning in 2012 that’s a welcome change.