UPDATE 2: The trade is now official. Here’s what Sounders GM Garth Lagerwey had to say in a team release: “We want thank Oniel for his time in Seattle and his contributions to our club. Oniel has been a good pro over the past three seasons, and we wish him every success in the next step of his journey with D.C. United.”
UPDATE: Actually, it does look pretty much done. The Sounders will apparently get $50,000 in general allocation money.
Just as the Seattle Sounders’ roster seemed to be settling in, now comes news that they may be on the lookout for a new backup right back.
Fisher remains with the Sounders in training camp and I’ve gotten indications this deal might not be quite as done as presented here, but it wouldn’t be entirely shocking if Fisher was effectively allowed to leave for somewhere he had a clear path toward playing time. Kelvin Leerdam was an absolute revelation at right back after joining the team last summer and Fisher was going to be relegated to backup duty, barring injury.
Over his three seasons, Fisher has shown flashes of promise, but has found extended looks in the lineup hard to come by. His most extensive turn as a starter came during his rookie season when he made nine starts, but as a left back. Injuries and inconsistency limited him to just nine more starts over the past two seasons.
If Fisher were to leave, the Sounders would no longer have a natural backup to Leerdam, though. Jordan McCrary has been in preseason with the Sounders, but his most extensive professional experience is with Toronto FC II. Of the players currently signed to the first team, Gustav Svensson, Jordy Delem and Cristian Roldan all saw time there last year and could plausibly fill in if needed. Henry Wingo also saw a few minutes there late in games, but never looked remotely comfortable as a right back in his handful of starts there with S2. It’s also possible the Sounders could re-sign Brad Evans, but he now looks close to joining Sporting KC as a free agent.