The offseason comes at you fast. Just two days after winning MLS Cup, 13 champions had their options declined. Eight others had their options exercised and eight more were already under contract, which doesn’t even guarantee they’ll be back. Brad Evans is probably the most significant player who had his option picked up.
Tyler Miller, Tony Alfaro, Oniel Fisher, Joevin Jones, Román Torres, Evans and Aaron Kovar, and Victor Mansaray are those whose options were picked up by Seattle Sounders. They are now among the 16 players under contract to defend the MLS Cup.
CURRENT SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS (2): Stefan Frei, Tyler Miller
DEFENDERS (5): Tony Alfaro, Oniel Fisher, Joevin Jones, Chad Marshall, Román Torres
MIDFIELDERS (6): Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Alvaro Fernandez, Aaron Kovar, Nicolás Lodeiro, Cristian Roldan
FORWARDS (3): Clint Dempsey, Jordan Morris, Victor Mansaray
Those players whose options were declined are Oalex Anderson, Michael Farfan, Erik Friberg, Herculez Gomez, Andreas Ivanschitz, Darwin Jones, Damion Lowe, Charlie Lyon, Tyrone Mears, Jimmy Ockford, Dylan Remick, Nathan Sturgis and Nelson Valdez.
"I want to start by saying thank you to all of the players from our 2016 MLS Cup champions roster. Keeping this team together will be a work in progress, as roster constraints prevent us from retaining all of our deserving players," said Sounders FC General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey via press release. "Conversations with several players are ongoing, and we will do our best to build a roster to defend our title next season."
The Expansion Draft takes place on Tuesday. A team can add a player to their expansion draft protected list even if they declined the option. This would mean that they can continue negotiations with the player until Thursday if they are Re-Entry Draft eligible.
The team has 13 players under contract that are expansion eligible. Clint Dempsey and Nicolas Lodeiro are required to be protected, meaning at least two players whose options were exercised will end up being exposed to the Expansion Draft.