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Roberto Chen passes first physical, could join Sounders soon

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Panama outlet RPCTV reports that Chen has passed his physical and will fly to Arizona today to join the team.

Chen battles with former Sounder Kevin Parsemain at a 2013 Gold Cup match in Seattle
Chen battles with former Sounder Kevin Parsemain at a 2013 Gold Cup match in Seattle
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Update: Panama site Somos La Sele, which covers Panama's national team, reports that Chen has a 10 day trial with the Sounders. Chen also spoke with Román Torres, who spoke highly of the Sounders.

According to a report Sunday morning from RPCTV Panamá, Roberto Chen passed his physical in Seattle, which was performed to address concerns about his two serious knee injuries (one in 2011, another in 2014). He is set to fly to Arizona on Sunday afternoon to join the Seattle Sounders in preseason training.

The report states that Chen is expected to sign a four-year contract with the Sounders within the next few days. Seattle's staff would presumably like to see how well his knees hold up in training before finalizing the deal, which would keep him in Seattle through the end of the decade.

Chen had his contract with Málaga terminated by mutual consent last week, shortly after returning from loan from Spanish third division side Linense, where he made only three appearances. Although his move to Europe didn't work out the way he would've liked, he's still younger than all of Seattle's central defenders under contract, despite the fact that Chen has over five years of experience as a pro and 16 caps with Panama's senior national team.

Chen reportedly had interest from New York City FC and Montreal Impact, but his time here on trial in 2013 that led to a contract offer and the fact that his national team captain and occasional CB partner, Román Torres, currently plays for the Sounders likely influenced his decision to come to Seattle.

If this report is accurate, Chen immediately bolsters Seattle's depth in central defense and provides a potential long-term starter at CB, which will be needed since the top four CB's on the roster are 29 or older.