SEATTLE, WASH. – Seattle Sounders FC today announced that it is exercising the 2019 contract options of 10 players, placing the club's current roster at 22 players heading into next season. With Sounders FC's 2018 campaign coming to a close following the club’s 10th consecutive postseason appearance, Seattle’s 2019 roster officially begins to take shape following today’s news.
“We’re excited to bring back the majority of players on our squad to make another strong run in 2019,” said Sounders FC General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey. “It’s always difficult to make these decisions at the end of every season, but ultimately we’re excited about the group we have in place and what we can accomplish next year.”
The following players saw their options exercised for 2019: goalkeeper Bryan Meredith; defenders Kim Kee-hee, Chad Marshall and Jordan McCrary; midfielders Jordy Delem, Alex Roldan, Cristian Roldan, Harry Shipp, Gustav Svensson and Henry Wingo.
Twelve players were already under contract for 2019, including goalkeeper Stefan Frei; defenders Waylon Francis, Kelvin Leerdam, Nouhou, Román Torres and Brad Smith; midfielders Handwalla Bwana, Nicolás Lodeiro and Víctor Rodríguez; forwards Will Bruin, Jordan Morris and Raúl Ruidíaz.
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Additionally, Sounders FC declined the contract options of goalkeeper Calle Brown, defender Tony Alfaro, midfielder Lamar Neagle and forward Felix Chenkam, while midfielder Osvaldo Alonso is out of contract with the club. Aaron Kovar – who spent the 2018 season on loan with Los Angeles FC – is also out of contract. Alonso and Neagle are both now eligible for MLS free agency, while forward Clint Dempsey retired from professional soccer earlier this year.
Per Major League Soccer policy, the club has until Sunday, December 9 to re-sign Re-Entry Draft-eligible players, including those players whose contracts were not exercised.
2019 expansion club FC Cincinnati is set to begin its MLS era with the Expansion Draft on December 11, but Sounders FC is exempt from this year’s process as one of five clubs that saw players selected by LAFC in the 2017 Expansion Draft. Free Agency begins following the Expansion Draft on December 11, with the 2018 MLS Waiver Draft coming the following day on December 12. Stage One and Stage Two of the 2018 MLS Re-Entry Draft are set for December 14 and 20, respectively.
CURRENT SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS (2): Stefan Frei, Bryan Meredith
DEFENDERS (8): Waylon Francis, Kim Kee-hee, Kelvin Leerdam, Chad Marshall, Jordan McCrary, Nouhou, Brad Smith, Román Torres
MIDFIELDERS (9): Handwalla Bwana, Jordy Delem, Nicolás Lodeiro, Víctor Rodríguez, Alex Roldan, Cristian Roldan, Harry Shipp, Gustav Svensson, Henry Wingo
FORWARDS (3): Will Bruin, Jordan Morris, Raúl Ruidíaz