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Sounders announce end-of-season roster decisions

Albert Rusnák and Xavier Arreaga both have options exercised, while Héber and Stef Cleveland are the most notable players to have options declined.

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Photo via Sounders FC Communications

The Seattle Sounders announced their end-of-season roster decisions on Monday, and while it doesn’t paint an entirely full picture, it does give us a decent framework for which to view things heading into the offseason.

The Sounders exercised contract options on Josh Atencio, Xavier Arreaga, Jacob Castro, Yeimar Gómez Andrade, João Paulo, Jackson Ragen, Paul Rothrock, Albert Rusnák, Dylan Teves and Andrew Thomas. That brings their roster to 22 players when combined with Cody Baker, Reed Baker-Whiting, Léo Chú, Stuart Hawkins, Sota Kitahara, Danny Leyva, Jordan Morris, Nouhou, Alex Roldan, Cristian Roldan, Raúl Ruidíaz and Obed Vargas, all of whom were already under contract.

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Meanwhile, the Sounders declined options on Stefan Cleveland, Ethan Dobbelaere and Héber, while Abdoulaye Cissoko, Stefan Frei, Nicolás Lodeiro, Fredy Montero and Kelyn Rowe are out of contract.

Of the out-of-contract players, Sounder at Heart has already confirmed that Stefan Frei has signed a new two-year deal and that an official announcement will likely be made later this week. The future of the other seven players is still very much in flux, but there was no indication given from the team of any ongoing negotiations.

Among the players whose options were exercised, the two most notable were Rusnák and Arreaga.

Rusnák will remain as a Designated Player, Sounder at Heart confirmed, which probably diminishes the chances that the Sounders will seek a veteran No. 10 on the transfer market. Rusnák spent most of the last two years playing more as an 8 in the Sounders lineup, but moved to the No. 10 spot over the last couple months, where he scored five of his seven goals.

Arreaga was clearly supplanted as a starting centerback and is due somewhere in the range of $750,000 next year, but the Sounders appear to believe that he retains some strong trade value. By exercising his option, the Sounders are effectively saying that they believe they can recoup something of value for the Ecuador international.