Brad Smith’s loan was extended at least through the end of the 2019 season, the Seattle Sounders announced on Wednesday. It was presumed that the current terms of the loan, in which the Sounders effectively pay half of his salary, will remain in place.
“We’re very pleased to have worked out a deal with Bournemouth to keep Brad here through the current campaign,” said Sounders GM Garth Lagerwey. “Brad has performed admirably since he arrived in Seattle and is an important piece of our current squad, so we’re excited to have him here as we approach the homestretch of the season.”
Smith’s contract with Bournemouth runs through the end of the 2019-20 season, but he’d be eligible to sign a pre-contract around the time this loan extension ends. Most likely, Smith and the Sounders are already working toward a possible extension and if they agree to one, Bournemouth is unlikely to demand any sort of significant transfer fee.
At his best, Smith has been one of the most dynamic outside backs in MLS. His four primary assists are second among fullbacks, his 20 key passes are fifth and his 3.3 expected assists are fourth. At times, though, Smith has been exposed as a questionable defender against some of the league’s best teams.
For now, at least, the Sounders are apparently willing to take that tradeoff.
The move likely means Joevin Jones will be primarily used as a more attacking option, while Nouhou will provide a sort of change of pace to Smith at left back.