The Seattle Sounders could have a dramatically new look for Sunday’s game against the LA Galaxy. In addition to it being Brian Schmetzer’s debut as interim head coach, both Nicolas Lodeiro and Alvaro Fernandez have received clearance to play.
New Sounders signings Nicolas Lodeiro and Alvaro Fernandez both available for tomorrow's home match against L.A.— Matt Pentz (@mattpentz) July 30, 2016
Having both players available so quickly is nothing short of remarkable. To be eligible, they needed to not only have completed contracts, but valid P-1 visas and the Sounders needed to possess their international transfer certificates. In the past, getting the paperwork processed for new signings has taken at least a week — and sometimes longer. Lodeiro’s contract was only finalized on Tuesday, while Fernandez’s signing wasn’t announced until Thursday.
One thing that apparently helped was that neither was forced to leave the country in order to obtain their visas, something previous international signings have needed to do.
Sounders coaches and front office staff have spoken glowingly of both players and seemed particularly interested in getting them on the field. Schmetzer even seemed to suggest that Lodeiro could potentially start despite only having participated in three training sessions prior to Sunday’s game.