SEATTLE, WASH. – Sounders FC today announced that it has signed defender Xavier Arreaga and defender / midfielder Joevin Jones prior to the 10:00 p.m. Pacific Time deadline for Major League Soccer’s primary transfer window. Arreaga, a 24-year-old center back, joins Sounders FC from Ecuadorian side Barcelona SC, where he spent the last four seasons. Jones returns to Seattle from SV Darmstadt 98 of Germany, where he has played since leaving Sounders FC following the 2017 season. Arreaga is being added to Seattle’s roster as a Designated Player, while Jones is being signed with Targeted Allocation Money (TAM). Both additions are pending receipt of the players’ respective P-1 Visas and International Transfer Certificates.
“We’re constantly looking to improve our squad, and today we’ve brought in two players – a new face and a familiar face,” said Sounders FC General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey. “We needed to get younger at the center back position, and we think Xavier is a player who gives us a good long-term solution. Additionally, we wanted to give ourselves another versatile option in the attack, and Joevin is a player we know well and are confident can come in and help us right away.”
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“As a coach, I appreciate the work and forward thinking our scouting department has done to identify a talented young center back. Acquiring players who fit the culture and ambitions of the club are always welcome,” said Sounders FC Head Coach Brian Schmetzer. “Joevin is a very talented left-back who can also play higher up the field, as well as a very good player who helped us win MLS Cup. I look forward to bringing him back into our squad.”
MEDIA NOTE: Lagerwey, Schmetzer and other club officials are being made available to working members of the press during the club's usual media access window on Wednesday at Starfire Sports in Tukwila, beginning at approximately 11:15 a.m. PT.
Arreaga celebrates after scoring Barcelona SC's first goal in leg one match of the 2017 Copa Libertadores quarterfinals against Santos | Photo by Franklin Jacome/Getty Images
Arreaga, 24, played 6,787 minutes across four seasons for Barcelona of Guayaquil in the Ecuadorian topflight, starting 78 of his 79 appearances. The defender tallied eight goals with the Ecuadorian club, including three each in the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Arreaga started all 10 of his appearances in 2019, registering 887 minutes played. He previously spent two seasons to start his pro career with Manta FC of Ecuador, scoring four goals in 2015. He earned his first international cap for Ecuador in a 2-1 friendly win over Panama on November 20, 2018. In order to add Arreaga to the club’s First Team roster as a Designated Player, Targeted Allocation Money was used to buy down the contract of Seattle winger Víctor Rodríguez.
“We have followed Xavier for some time in Ecuador and our scouting department has watched him live many times,” said Sounders FC VP of Soccer & Sporting Director Chris Henderson. “He is a cerebral defender and organizes the team from the back, in addition to being technically sound and comfortable with the ball at his feet. Xavier is also a proven leader, as shown by captaining his club side at the young age of 24.”
Jones celebrates after scoring against the Portland Timbers at Providence Park in 2017 | Photo: Dan Poss
Jones, 27, returns to Seattle after spending the past two seasons with SV Darmstadt 98, where he recorded 44 appearances with six goals over two seasons in 2. Bundesliga, the German second division. Prior to Darmstadt, Jones spent the 2016 and 2017 seasons with Seattle, helping the club to back-to-back MLS Cup appearances and the 2016 title. Jones recorded three goals and 14 assists in two seasons with Sounders FC, including a career-high 11 helpers in 2017. He also added five assists in 11 postseason appearances in 2016 and 2017. Jones is a mainstay for the Trinidad & Tobago National Team, where he has 71 career caps and eight goals.
“We welcome the return of Joevin, as he comes back to Seattle with some good experience from his time in Germany,” said Henderson. “Joevin is a versatile left-footed player that initiates attacks through skillful technique and combinations. After having very good success as a setup man in his first stint in Seattle, we look forward to seeing him contribute again.”
Following a 1-1 road draw over the weekend at Minnesota, Sounders FC (5-1-4, 19 points) returns home to face the Houston Dynamo (6-1-1, 19 points) on Saturday evening at CenturyLink Field (7:00 p.m. PT/ JOEtv, YouTube TV, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM).
TRANSACTION: Sounders FC signs defender Xavier Arreaga to a Designated Player contract and defender / midfielder Joevin Jones using Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) on May 7, 2019.
Name: Xavier Arreaga
Born: September 28, 1994 in Guayaquil, Ecuador
Hometown: Guayaquil, Ecuador
Previous Experience: Barcelona SC (2016-2019), Manta FC (2014-2015)
Name: Joevin Jones
Position: Defender / Midfielder
Born: August 3, 1991 in Carenage, Trinidad & Tobago
Hometown: in Carenage, Trinidad & Tobago
Citizenship: Trinidad & Tobago
Previous Experience: SV Darmstadt 98 (2018-2019); Sounders FC (2016-2017); Chicago Fire (2015); HJK Helsinki (2014); W Connection (2009-2014)