As expected, Victor Rodriguez will at least temporarily occupy the Seattle Sounders’ third Designated Player spot, Garth Lagerwey announced during a media day press conference on Thursday. The Sounders GM and President of Soccer had previously suggested this was a possibility in numerous statements over the past week or so, but with the roster compliance deadline being on Friday the time had essentially come to make it official.
The honor falls to Rodriguez not because he signed some sort of high-priced extension, but because he was already their third-highest paid player. Last year, he was reportedly paid about $1.1 million.
By moving Rodriguez into the DP spot, the Sounders are able to save about $600,000 in Targeted Allocation Money. That’s money the Sounders can use to sign another TAM-level player, while also keeping open the possibility of adding a higher-priced DP.
“I think you’ll see us add one to two more — well, not two DPs because unlike the Galaxy we’re only allowed three — but I think we have the ability to add two pretty good players over the course of the season. We’re just going to be deliberate and strategic how we do it.”
Lagerwey also reiterated that part of why the Sounders aren’t in any rush to add that third DP is they aren’t quite sure what position they’ll most need them.
“You have to get it right,” he said. “The market is just better in the summer. If we’re get that third franchise player, we’ve got to get them at the right spot, at the right age, we get it at the right time. We’re going to be actively pursuing that player, but I can’t tell you it will be at what spot, because I think we’re pretty solid all over the field. It’s not an answer that jumps out at you. Hopefully that’s a good thing.”