SEATTLE, WASH. – Following the club’s appearance in Saturday’s MLS Cup and ahead of Tuesday’s MLS Expansion Draft, Seattle Sounders FC today announced that it is exercising the 2018 contract options of 11 players, placing the club's current roster heading into next season at 22 players.
The following players saw their options exercised for 2018: goalkeepers Stefan Frei and Tyler Miller, defenders Tony Alfaro, Oniel Fisher, Chad Marshall and Román Torres, midfielders Jordy Delem, Aaron Kovar, Zach Mathers and Cristian Roldan, in addition to forward Will Bruin.
Eleven players were already under contract for 2018, including defenders Kelvin Leerdam and Nouhou, midfielders Osvaldo Alonso, Nicolás Lodeiro, Victor Rodríguez, Harry Shipp, Gustav Svensson and Henry Wingo, as well as forwards Seyi Adekoya, Clint Dempsey and Jordan Morris.
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Additionally, Sounders FC declined the option of midfielder Calum Mallace. Goalkeeper Bryan Meredith, defenders Brad Evans and Joevin Jones, in addition to forward Lamar Neagle are out of contract with the club. Evans and Neagle are both now eligible for MLS free agency, while conversations with out-of-contract players are ongoing in advance of 2018.
Per Major League Soccer policy, the club has until Thursday, December 14 to re-sign Re-Entry Draft-eligible players, including those players whose contracts were not exercised.
“Although we fell short at the final hurdle in MLS Cup, our players had a successful 2017 season and we are proud of their efforts,” said Sounders FC General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey. "These types of decisions are never easy, and every season it gets even harder to keep talented groups like this fully together. That is why we’re excited to bring back 22 players from our existing squad, which is particularly important with CONCACAF Champions League on the horizon in February. Our players report back in nearly a month’s time, and we’ll rely on this veteran group for the challenges that are ahead in international play and the 2018 MLS campaign.”
The 2017 MLS Expansion Draft for Los Angeles Football Club is taking place Tuesday, December 12 at 11:00 a.m. PT. Teams are able to protect 11 players (Generation adidas and Homegrown Players are exempt and automatically protected), with only one player allowed to be drafted from each of 22 existing MLS clubs.
Seattle’s 11 protected players for Tuesday’s Expansion Draft are goalkeeper Stefan Frei, defenders Kelvin Leerdam, Chad Marshall, Nouhou and Román Torres, midfielders Nicolás Lodeiro, Cristian Roldan, Gustav Svensson and Víctor Rodríguez, in addition to forwards Will Bruin and Clint Dempsey. Homegrown Players Seyi Adekoya, Aaron Kovar, Jordan Morris and Henry Wingo are automatically protected.
CURRENT SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS (2): Stefan Frei, Tyler Miller
DEFENDERS (6): Tony Alfaro, Oniel Fisher, Kelvin Leerdam, Chad Marshall, Nouhou, Román Torres
MIDFIELDERS (10): Osvaldo Alonso, Jordy Delem, Aaron Kovar, Nicolás Lodeiro, Zach Mathers, Victor Rodríguez, Cristian Roldan, Harry Shipp, Gustav Svensson, Henry Wingo
FORWARDS (4): Seyi Adekoya, Will Bruin, Clint Dempsey, Jordan Morris