The Major League Soccer offseason has seen a whirlwind of player movement already, but that deluge may take a short break, with the next scheduled date for movement coming January 16 in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft.
Players can be signed before then, but the league’s college draft typically marks the start of the calendar year. This year, Sounders FC will have four picks in the SuperDraft, though they come at various points in each round, as Seattle has acquired and traded a total of six picks in the 2014 draft.
Seattle’s first pick will come with the 13th overall selection in the first round and will be the club’s only natural selection.
In the second round Sounders FC holds the second pick, 21st overall, which came in the trade with Chivas USA for Shalrie Joseph last year. The 32nd pick, Seattle’s natural choice, was traded to Houston in the deal sending Servando Carrasco to the Dynamo for Adam Moffat.
In the third round, Seattle hold’s Portland’s pick in the 55th overall slot, which it acquired for the right of first refusal to defender Mikael Silvestre. Seattle sent its own pick to the Vancouver Whitecaps FC to move up in the 2011 Re-Entry Draft and select Marc Burch.
In the fourth round, Seattle holds a pick that was added on to the end of the draft. It was originally a fourth-round Supplemental Draft pick that it acquired from San Jose for Cordell Cato, but since there will not be a Supplemental Draft this year, Seattle will pick 77th overall. The club’s natural pick at No. 70 was traded to Real Salt Lake in exchange for the right of first refusal to Mario Martinez in 2012.
The SuperDraft will begin at 9 am PT in Philadelphia and comes after the one-week MLS Combine in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Sounders FC will begin training camp on January 25th at the club’s practice facility at Starfire, then head to Tucson, Arizona, and Charleston, South Carolina to play preseason matches. The Tucson leg of camp runs from January 29 – February 9, while the Charleston trip runs from February 19 – March 2.
Sounders FC opens the 2014 MLS season at home against Sporting Kansas City on March 8.
CASSAR PROMOTED IN SALT LAKE
The dominoes are beginning to fall among MLS coaches and Real Salt Lake was the latest to announce a new hire on Tuesday, promoting Jeff Cassar to Head Coach after seven seasons as Goalkeeper Coach under the now-departed Jason Kreis.
Cassar played 11 seasons in MLS with Dallas, the Miami Fusion and New York/New Jersey MetroStars from 1996-2006, after which he took over goalkeeper coaching duties with FC Dallas.
He will take over for Kreis, who coached RSL to one MLS Cup title and one other MLS Cup appearance in his seven seasons at the helm. He left the club last week to take the head coaching job with New York City FC.
KLOPAS JOINS IMPACT
Wednesday saw a surprise move north of the border as the Montreal Impact parted ways with Head Coach Marco Schallibaum and hired former Chicago Fire boss Frank Klopas to serve as Head Coach and Director of Player Personnel.
Under his watch in Chicago, the Fire went 39-29-23 in three seasons, including a 17-11-6 record in 2012 and an appearance in the U.S. Open Cup final in 2011. After missing the playoffs this season, Klopas was replaced by former San Jose Earthquakes Head Coach Frank Yallop.
Montreal went 14-13-7 this season, edging out Chicago (who was also 14-13-7) on the goals scored tie-breaker, 50-47.
ROLFE STAYS WITH FIRE
Just before the Re-Entry Draft, the Fire announced the signing of forward Chris Rolfe, keeping the 30-year-old veteran in Chicago for an eighth season. Rolfe started his career in Chicago in 2005 and spent three seasons with Aalborg BK in Denmark before returning to the Fire in 2012. Since his return, he has 12 goals and four assists in 53 matches, including 45 starts.
Rolfe was tied for second on the Fire with four goals in 2013.
ARRIETA RE-SIGNS WITH CREW
Just after the Re-Entry Process concluded, the Columbus Crew announced it retained forward Jairo Arrieta for his third season. The Costa Rican forward joined the Crew just after the start of the season in 2012 and has 12 goals and eight assists in 44 appearances, including nine goals and four assists in just 18 matches in 2012.