The last 10 days have been a whirlwind for new Sounders FC midfielder Christian Tiffert.
On July 26, he was training with Kaiserslautern in Germany, preparing for the season in the German second division after the club was relegated this year. The next day, he was transferred to the Sounders and he traveled to Seattle last weekend, joining the team for training last Tuesday.
On Thursday, he went to Vancouver, Canada, to finish paperwork to get his P1 visa. That was finalized on Friday afternoon and he returned to the training field on Saturday.
Just over one week removed from traveling over 5,000 miles and nine time zones, Tiffert made his Sounders FC debut on Sunday, replacing Brad Evans in the 64th minute of Seattle's 4-0 win over the LA Galaxy.
"I think this was the best start in my career," Tiffert smiled. "It was a good game for me."
Still adjusting after the long flight and the time change, the German midfielder was solid in his first appearance in rave green, highlighted by a run into the box just five minutes after he subbed on that nearly led to a goal.
Going out to the left side to pick up a ball, Tiffert played it to Mauro Rosales just a few feet to his right. Without hesitating, Tiffert darted behind the LA defense and took a pass back from Rosales in the box. He took a poke at it and may have had LA goalkeeper Josh Saunders beaten if not for Omar Gonzalez cutting off the shot.
"He's a guy who plays simple, who combines, is hard when he needs to be, and he's the kind of guy who when you watch him is just easy-running and all of a sudden, boom he makes a move and that was like when he got in," Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said. "It was like nice and simple and all of a sudden he was in behind them on a quick sprint and they didn't know what to do with him."
That was just one glimpse at what he offers the team.
He also held possession well for Seattle as they worked to put the finishing touches on the win and tracked back to make some plays on the defensive side, showing two-way capabilities that he down-played in the week leading up to his first match.
With the Sounders playing perhaps their best all-around game of the season and the schedule only getting more crucial as the months wind down on the calendar, Schmid is justifiably excited to see what the offense can do with Tiffert and Rosales delivering balls to Eddie Johnson and Fredy Montero.
"He's going to help us," Schmid said after the match in his own understated way.
If his first appearance is any indication, Schmid has plenty of reason to be optimistic.