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Sounder At Heart: Alvaro Fernandez Fills A Midfield Void

SB Nation's Seattle Sounders FC blog, Sounder at Heart (S@H), was one of the first outlets to analyze the much-anticipated signing of Álvaro Fernández.  According to Graham at S@B:

We anticipate that Fernandez will be deployed as a central midfield playmaker, taking over the lion's share of the duties shared between Michael Seamon and Pete Vagenas so far this season. The 24 year old is in the prime of his career and adept at linking play between the defence and the forwards, giving the Sounders a second dynamic central midfielder to play alongside Oswaldo Alonso. This is a huge signing for the team's future, and a big deal for the league - it's one of the first instances of an international calibre talent coming to MLS at such a young age.

That central playmaking presence has been absent this year for a Sounder team that would ideally have two distributing presences in the middle:

The central midfield position has been a major area of concern for the Sounders this season. Ideally the team plays with two ball-movers in the center to link up with Fredy Montero and the attacking threats along the wings, but the centre of the pitch has not been a good outlet from defence to attack, due to a combination of Ossie Alonso's injuries and Peter Vagenas/Nate Sturgis being incapable of fulfilling the role. Brad Evans and Freddie Ljungberg have both been trialed in the role, neither with much success, and Michael Seamon has recently showed promise as a CM, but the second-round draft pick needs more football experience to act as the conductor of Seattle's game.

For more on the Fernández signing and Sounders FC in general, you can visit Sounder at Heart.