Star puts Seattle at limit of designated players
One star in. One star out? Sounders FC acquired designated player Shalrie Joseph in a big trade Tuesday with Chivas USA, but general manager Adrian Hanauer also gave strong indications that a roster-shaking departure could be made by the start of the season.
A day of mixed emotions within the fan base was highlighted by the acquisition of Joseph, an eight-time MLS All-Star. The 34-year-old Grenadian will be Seattle’s third active DP, joining midfielders Mauro Rosales and Christian Tiffert.
The Sounders also got second-round picks in the 2014 and 2015 drafts in the deal, and moved up to No. 3 in the allocation order, which could help in adding a U.S. national team player later this year.
Chivas USA freed up a DP spot on its roster, got salary-cap relief and moved down to No. 15 in the allocation order. Many Sounders fans were puzzled about why the team would use a coveted DP slot on Joseph, who joins his third team in six months, but Hanauer explained that it “was effectively the only way to get the deal done.”
“All in all, we’re very happy with the deal – otherwise we wouldn’t have done it,” he said. Chivas USA, which had publicly expressed that Joseph was not a part of that team’s plans, will still assume some of the salary-cap hit.
Joseph, a core member of the New England teams that went to three straight MLS Cups (2005-07), becomes the Sounders’ seventh DP in franchise history. The 10-year vet has played as a forward, midfielder and defender.
Now, while Seattle has the maximum three active DPs, things might not stay that way. Hanauer gave multiple indications on a conference call Tuesday that the team is considering buying out a DP’s contract before the March 2 deadline (when the MLS season opens).
A likely candidate for an exit is Tiffert, who arrived last summer from Germany. The 31-year-old has been recovering in the Seattle area from an unspecified injury instead of accompanying the team to Tucson, Ariz., according to the last update from Schmid.
The Sounders have bought out a DP contract before (Blaise Nkufo, before the 2011 season) and recently loaned out DP forward Fredy Montero to Colombia’s Millonarios for the year.
Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson said on Twitter that the team has signed Mikael Silvestre barring any complications getting a visa. The Sounders would be due compensation since they were first to place a discovery claim on the veteran defender.