Although Seattle Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer would not comment specifically on Fredy Montero's reported loan to Colombian club Millonarios, he did tell Sounder at Heart on Friday that any loss of a Designated Player would only be done if the corresponding roster spot was opened up.
Hanauer also reiterated that the Sounders are willing to make drastic roster changes if they believe those moves will help them compete for MLS Cup this year.
Based on those comments, it's probably fair to assume that if Montero is loaned to Millonarios it's only being done if the Sounders clear his salary off the books for 2013 and open up a DP spot. We can also make some assumptions that the Sounders' offseason is only getting started.
Loaning Montero could prove to be just the first of several franchise-altering moves that could feasibly result in three new DPs.
This also promises to open up some opportunities for players currently on the roster, even if only in the short term. Steve Zakuani was already in line to compete for a starting spot, but now it seems like it might be his to lose. Mario Martinez, who was vocal about his lack of playing time, now has a very real opportunity to prove he's worth the price of a full transfer when his loan expires in June. Brad Evans is suddenly as big a part of the team as he's ever been.
The downside to all this potential roster churn is that the team may suffer in the short term. But that's a price the Sounders seem willing to pay.
Although Hanauer would obviously prefer not to get off to as bad of a start as last year's Galaxy team, he did point out that bouncing out of the CCL quarterfinals and starting 3-8-2 in the regular season didn't stop them from winning MLS Cup. That would certainly put a dent in the Sounders' efforts to become the first treble-winning MLS team, but it's also a trade-off most of us would probably make.