The club announced the signing of MLS veteran attacking player Miguel Ibarra on Tuesday.
Ibarra, 29, brings an expansive pedigree to Seattle’s attacking midfield corps, boasting a resume that includes stints in the NASL, Liga MX and MLS.
“Miguel has fit into the group very well,” Head Coach Brian Schmetzer said in a conference call with reporters on Tuesday. “He’s an experienced MLS player. If the deal happens, if he signs with us, I would be very happy.”
Joining the Sounders in Mexico for preseason as a trialist, Ibarra impressed the coaching staff with his technical quality and attacking verve. With the Sounders competing for trophies across five competitions in 2020, the attacking midfielder will have an opportunity to make meaningful contributions for the Rave Green.
“He will fit in nicely as a rotation player,” said Schmetzer. “He’ll get starts. I think that with CCL and the additional amount of games we’re going to play, we’ll need a couple more of those types of guys – MLS veterans that have experience. When we play those three-game weeks and we take a couple of injuries or we’re in Open Cup or in Champions League, he’ll be a guy that fits in nicely to any formation that we play.”
Ibarra, who bagged 11 goals and 14 assists across three seasons in MLS with Minnesota United, can play in any of the three attacking midfield spots in Schmetzer’s favored 4-2-3-1 formation. If the team alters their shape, Schmetzer believes Ibarra possesses the tactical acumen to perform well, comparing him to Sounders stalwart Harry Shipp.
“He’s a little bit like Harry, another veteran guy that I have a lot of confidence in, but he’s just a little different,” noted Schmetzer. “Harry is more of a connector type, although credit to Harry – he had his highest goals total last year – but Ibarra is probably a little bit more goal dangerous. Both of those guys could be on the field at the same time. It’s just a really nice depth piece to have.”
Ibarra joins the Sounders with a proven track record in MLS. After spending time with club in preseason, he’ll be able to hit the ground running as the club looks to build upon its MLS Cup-winning 2019 season.