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Sounders still chasing Norwegian center back

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According to Steffen Hagen, Seattle reached out to him again just prior to Christmas. He is now available on a free in his final year on contract with Odds BK.

By Kjetil Ree (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

One of Norway's better domestic based defenders, Steffen Hagen (Odds BK) says he's again being pursued by the Seattle Sounders. Last January the Sounders chased the center back and eventually ended that pursuit over concerns about a transfer fee. Now, as a free agent in his final year on contract the 28-year-old tells Norwegian site TA he's shopping himself for the best deal possible, and that the Sounders reconnected with him in December.

"But with that said, it's not a failure to remain at Odd, and I'd need a very exciting offer to leave from here. But I am also open to something new. In January last year the MLS club Seattle Sounders stepped up to plate, but nothing formal came out of it."

The man from the South of Norway admitted he was tempted at the time, and the interest must have persisted as the American team checked his status as late as just before Christmas.

"There's been nothing concrete from the other side [Seattle]," he says.

translation by reader _kierk

With Odds BK in 2014, Hagen led a defense that gave up just 32 goals in 30 matches. The club took second in the Norwegian Cup, third in the league and Hagen had four bench appearances in Euro Qualifiers for Norway. Steffen played every minute of every league match, scoring two goals. In all but one of his six Eliteserien seasons, he's played every minute of every game.

If he stays with Odds, he will have the opportunity to compete in the Europa League.

Sounders FC have been relatively quiet this offseason, only getting connected to Eto'oHildebrand and Kljestan while signing Perkins and Mears. There is still need to improve along the backline, as well as depth in the midfield.