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Four players the Sounders should sign in free agency

With no standout free agent stars, Seattle could look to bring in some quality depth players at the back end of their roster

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MLS: Philadelphia Union at Atlanta United FC Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

MLS players finally have a form of free agency, though it is complex and limits players’ abilities to get dramatic increases in salary. Qualifying players do, however, have more control over which team they play for in the coming season than the various drafts and allocation methods had given them previously.

That the Sounders have never signed a player via free agency somewhat illustrates how rarely this signing method has been used since it was added in the 2015 CBA.

Once again there’s no obvious target in this year’s Free Agent class, and certainly not a player who could even potentially be an impact player for the Sounders. With that said, I combed over the available players with criteria that the Sounders could sign these five players for a reasonably inexpensive price and they could be serviceable & reliable depth pieces.

There are certainly better and more talented free agents, but they would require spending an uncomfortable amount cap space to acquire them. For instance, Kei Kamara doesn’t make much sense for Seattle. Similarly, Benny Feilhaber is heading into free agency but the Sounders probably don’t have much use for a soon-to-be 34-year-old who would likely cost about as much as Osvaldo Alonso and is effectively an offensive-minded defensive midfielder at this point.

With that said, here are the five best fits for Seattle.

Warren Creavalle

Every team in MLS needs a multi-tool type player on their roster. That’s probably why Creavalle has found himself useful to the teams he’s played for over the years. His most natural position is defensive midfield, but he’s also serviceable at centerback and fullback. He most recently played for Philadelphia, but has also spent time with Toronto and Houston. Sounders’ fans remember Brad Evans for his versatility, and Creavalle could bring a similar skillset to Seattle. He’s just 28 years old and made $153,000 last season.

Sheanon Williams

Another versatile option for the Sounders to look at, Williams has spent time playing at both fullback positions. The 28-year-old has made nearly 200 appearances in MLS, the majority of them with the Union, but he’s also spent time in Houston, LA, and Vancouver. In 2018 he made just $72,500 and could be a very inexpensive third option for both fullback positions.

Chris Schuler

Once upon a time, Schuler was considered one of the most promising centerbacks in the league when he played for Real Salt Lake, but a series of devastating injuries derailed his career. He’s certainly a shell of his former self and has a history of injuries, but he could be a reliable veteran option at centerback. He last played for Orlando and made $82,500 last season.

Jason Hernandez

A relic of a former era in MLS, Hernandez is still hanging on and playing in this league. He was a crucial part of San Jose’s historic 2012 season, and a reliable depth option for Toronto’s treble-winning season in 2017. He’s definitely up there in age at 35 years old, but he’s a good veteran who would be reliable if needed in a pinch. The centerback made just $67,500 in 2018 with TFC.

Honorable mention

Brad Evans

In a perfect world, Evans would be a great player to bring back in some capacity. But after not playing a single first team minute last year with Sporting KC, it’s hard to imagine any sort of playing role for a player who will turn 34 early next season. Evans seems perfectly suited for a coaching role or something similar to what David Estrada did in the organization last year, but he’s also made it pretty clear he doesn’t much like the idea of working with Garth Lagerwey.

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