RENTON, WASH. – Seattle Sounders FC has signed German midfielder Christian Tiffert, the club announced today. Per Major League Soccer and club policy, terms were not disclosed. Tiffert will be added to the roster pending receipt of his P-1 Visa. He will occupy one of three Designated Players slots on the Sounders FC roster following the trade of Alvaro Fernandez.
"We were extremely impressed with Christian during his visit to Seattle," said Owner and General Manager Adrian Hanauer. "His character and mentality fit well with the culture we have established within the organization, both on the field and in the locker room. We believe Christian will help us in our push towards the playoffs and beyond."
Tiffert (pronounced TIFF-ert), 30, was the captain of FC Kaiserslautern of the German Bundesliga and has more than 280 appearances in Germany's top flight. Tiffert has 12 years of top level experience in Germany and Austria, and the offensive midfielder led the German Bundesliga with 17 assists in the 2010-11 season.
"We wanted to bring in a player who is a central midfielder and has playmaking capabilities," said Head Coach Sigi Schmid. "Christian is a player who fits this mold and brings a lot of experience from the top league in Germany. His leadership and versatility make him a good fit for our club."
The six-foot midfielder began his professional career in 2000 with German side Tennis Borussia Berlin. He then joined VfB Stuttgart for six seasons where the team was Bundesliga runners-up in 2003 and German League Cup runners-up in 2005. While with Stuttgart, Tiffert also won the 2000 and 2002 UEFA Intertoto Cup.
Following his time with Stuttgart, Tiffert joined Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg in 2006 and won the Austrian Bundesliga by 19 points, posting a plus-47 goal differential. Tiffert returned to Germany in 2007 and spent three seasons with MSV Duisburg before joining FCK in 2010.
A native of Halle, Germany, Tiffert made 24 appearances with the German U21 National Team from 2002-04. He began his youth career with Hallescher FC from 1994-98 and played for Tennis Borussia Berlin youth team from 1998-2000.
Sounders FC returns to MLS action on Saturday with a road match against the Colorado Rapids. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. PT at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo.
Transactions: Seattle Sounders FC (MLS) – Signed MID Christian Tiffert
Place of Birth: Halle, Germany
Hometown (Citizenship): Halle (Germany)
Last Club: FC Kaiserslautern (Germany, 2010-12)
Previous Clubs (chronological): Tennis Borussia Berlin (Germany, 2000); VfB Stuttgart (Germany, 2000-06); Red Bull Salzburg (Austria, 2006-07); MSV Duisburg (Germany, 2007-10)