Although there's no signing to report, the Seattle Sounders did confirm that Panamanian center back Roberto Chen joined the club for preseason training in Tucson, Ariz. on Monday. Chen left La Liga club Malaga last week and Panamanian media has been reporting that he was close to signing a deal with the Sounders ever since.
"We're happy to have Roberto here," Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid told SoundersFC.com. "He's a player that we've had our eye on for a while, and we almost had something - he ended up at Malaga, which was a great opportunity for him there - and now we have maybe another chance for him. We'll see how he does this week and then make a decision."
Chen, still just 21, was on trial with the Sounders in 2013. But he ended up signing with Malaga on what was reportedly a €400,000 transfer. Chen twice went out on loan while with Malaga and suffered a knee injury in 2014, all of which has helped slow his ascent to what many thought would be replacing Felipe Baloy as the cornerstone of Panama's backline. Chen reportedly underwent physicals in Seattle over the weekend.
The Sounders could potentially get their first up close look at Chen in a game environment when they face the Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday. That match will consist of three 45-minute periods and will be streamed on SoundersFC.com.