Opportunities will soon arise for Sounders FC to add players to their roster when the international transfer window opens on July 9.
The salary cap won’t make such a move easy, but that won’t prevent Sounders FC from trying and they have continued to scour the globe in search of the next piece to the ever-evolving puzzle that could lift them to their first MLS Cup title. As the opening of the transfer window nears, that search becomes more focused.
“We’re always looking,” said Sounders FC Sporting Director Chris Henderson. “But I think now as it starts to get closer, we’re looking at some specific positions. We look at multiple positions, but it is usually key positions up the spine for teams to look at where impact players can come in.”
Sounders FC has had success with their midseason acquisitions in previous years. In 2009, they signed Leo Gonzalez from Costa Rica and he has been a mainstay at left back ever since. In 2010, they added Blaise Nkufo and Alvaro Fernandez and promptly went on a run that saw them go 9-2-2 to close out the season. And in 2012 they added Mario Martinez on loan and Christian Tiffert to solidify their midfield and Marcus Hahnemann for depth at goalkeeper. Martinez would go on to score the series-winning goal as Sounders FC advanced past Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference semifinals.
Many factors play into the team’s ability to sign players and one of them is the league’s roster limits. With a roster of 29 players and a tight situation with the league’s salary budget, Seattle would need to be creative to make those additions.
“We’d have to make some moves in order to do it, so those are conversations we have, whether it’s going to be right for the team and right for us to try to make a push to improve the team in the window,” Henderson said. “Those conversations are going on.”
Henderson has spent time in Europe and South America in recent weeks while assistant coach/scout Kurt Schmid has spent time in Europe, as well.
In addition to new talent, Sounders FC has also been in negotiations with Real Espana in Honduras about Martinez. The midfielders loan expires at the end of the month and the team is looking to extend his time in Seattle.
Time will tell if any changes will be made to the roster, but if history is any indication, the team could look different very soon.