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Discovery Signings; How the Sounders will get to 30 players

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In Sigi's post draft conference call he said that he expects 28-30 players in camp. The Sounders are currently at 21 players on roster with Tyson Wahl as an unsigned Free Agent. They just drafted 3 young men who will compete, and last year's infrequently used players Fucito and Neagle will back in training camp.

That's 27 players. How will the Sounders get those last few players?

Sure one might be Jared Karkas, but are five guys drafted in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th round going to make the difference? (sure its possible, I could be right about a guy)

MLS in its single entity structure had to invent a way for teams to find players from outside the Draft, from outside the US and Canadian National Teams, players that aren't Designated Players. The league had to find a way to convince teams to discover talent even though the teams can not sign players.

So it invented the Discovery Signing system

Each team has the opportunity to make six Discovery signings per season (expansion teams have 10 Discovery signings in their initial season). The last day for Discovery player signings is September 15, 2009 - coinciding with the roster freeze date and trade deadline. The six Discovery signings can be used to fill senior roster spots only. If multiple teams claim the same player using a Discovery, the team that filed the claim first will have first rights to the player. Discovery claims expire following each season. If the League and player are unable to reach an agreement during the season, the team that first filed the Discovery retains the right of first refusal in the event the player is later signed by the League.

This was the system through which the Sounders "discovered" the USL players on the roster last year, and Hurtado, Montero and Gonzalez. This year they will be looking for talents in other players. A few of the coaches went to Germany. While Adrian's travels are uknown at this time I'm certain that he, Henderson and Kurt Schmid have looked around the world for just a handful of players (almost certainly not all 6 to start the season).

Now the Discovery only applies to Senior roster players, but since the team's needs are for Starters and Rotationals, and not Reserves it is the Discovery process that will round out this roster.

Next week as players report to camp 85% will be familiar names, but we will all discover just what the Sounders have found to wow us at Qwest.