Sounders complete trade for Shalrie Joseph

don.ruiz@thenewstribune.comFebruary 20, 2013 

Sounders FC acquired designated player Shalrie Joseph on Tuesday, and didn’t rule out that even bigger moves could be ahead.

Joseph is a seven-time MLS All-Star, most recently in 2011. He was named to the MLS Best XI four times from 2005-2009. As a member of the New England Revolution, he appeared in the 2005, 2006 and 2007 MLS Cup finals. Last season, he split time with New England and Chivas USA. However, player and club agreed he did not fit in with Chivas’ plans for 2013.

The trade was announced about 10 days after Chivas allowed Joseph to join Seattle for a couple of training sessions. The Sounders sent a No. 15 allocation ranking to Chivas in exchange for Joseph, a No. 3 allocation ranking and second-round SuperDraft picks in 2014 and 2015. Chivas also will absorb some of the Joseph’s salary cap impact.

Seattle general manager Adrian Hanauer said the higher allocation ranking could open the door to acquiring national-team players or former MLS players around the world. He noted allocation is the way Seattle acquired goalkeepers Kasey Keller and Marcus Hahnemann, and that last season the club traded two players for the allocation rights that produced Eddie Johnson.

Hanauer admitted he would have liked to have kept the club’s

third designated player spot open, but he said there was no other way to bring Joseph aboard.

Hanauer noted the club remains committed to its offseason promise to spend what is necessary to bring in a big-impact DP. He said that could happen through a restructured contract or by buying out an existing designated player before the regular season starts on March 2.

The Seattle designated players are Joseph, Mauro Rosales and Christian Tiffert.

Joseph is 34 years old, 6-foot-3, 180 pounds. He was born in Saint George, Grenada and has more than 20 appearances for the Grenada national team. He earned his United States citizenship in 2009. He is ninth among active MLS players with 273 appearances.

Joseph’s position will be up to coach Sigi Schmid, but Hanauer and Schmid have said versatility is part of his appeal.

“He can play anywhere through the middle of the park,” Hanauer said

Joseph is expected to join Sounders preseason training in Tucson, Ariz., today.

HECTIC SCHEDULE

Today also opens a busy stretch of three games in four days, which will conclude the Sounders’ two weeks of preseason training in Tucson.

The Sounders are expected to go with a reserve-heavy lineup at 6 p.m. when it meets the New York Red Bulls in the third game of the Desert Diamond Cup.

Schmid has said he wants to save his projected first 11 starters for Friday, when Seattle will play a friendly against Mexican second-division club Veracruz as preparation for its CONCACAF Champions League series against Tigres next month.

The timing of the Veracruz friendly means reserves also will carry the load Saturday in the Desert Diamond Cup championship game, for which the Sounders have already qualified.

Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808 don.ruiz@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer @donruiztnt

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