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Xavier Arreaga traded to New England Revolution

Move is mostly designed to facilitate a summer signing by Sounders.

Last Updated
3 min read
Kayla Mehring / Sounder at Heart

RENTON — Xavier Arreaga was officially traded to the New England Revolution on Tuesday, ending a five-year run with the Seattle Sounders that included playing a significant role in both the 2019 MLS Cup and 2022 Concacaf Champions League runs.

In return, the Sounders will mostly get salary-cap flexibility — which will likely be used on a summer signing — that will add up to around $1 million, according to Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer. The bulk of that comes in the form of removing Arreaga’s cap hit, likely around $800,000. The Sounders will also get a 2025 international roster spot that can potentially be flipped, as well as up to $75,000 in General Allocation Money if Arreaga is still with the Revolution next year.

“I think it’s a good move,” Schmetzer told reporters following Tuesday’s training session, adding that Arreaga had expressed interest in moving ever since Jackson Ragen took over as the regular starter last season. “We accomplished two things, we gave Xavi an extra chance to solidify himself with another team and we collected money we can use in the summer. Let’s see if he has a fresh lease on life and what we can do with that money.”

Prior to moving Arreaga, the Sounders were unlikely to have much cap space to make summer signings. According to Sounder at Heart’s accounting, the Sounders had about $1.3M of cap space, but that was without factoring in any raises since last year or the costs of offseason signings Nathan, Danny Musovski, Braudilio Rodrigues and Jon Bell. The new cap space could potentially make room for as many as two new players, especially if one of them is a U22 signing.

GM Craig Waibel was not available for comment, apparently because he’s already in Europe scouting potential transfer targets. With the transfer window closing later on Tuesday, any new signings will almost certainly happen after the summer window opens on July 18, just before Leagues Cup begins on July 26.

In the meantime, the Sounders will have some shoes to fill both on and off the field. Veteran centerback Nathan will likely end up getting the bulk of the minutes Arreaga would have otherwise gotten — starting on Saturday, when he’ll likely get the start in place of the suspended Ragen.

In addition to praising him for the silverware the centerback helped deliver to the Sounders, goalkeeper Stefan Frei said Arreaga brought a positive outlook.

“He was a fun guy in the locker room, he kept it light,” Frei said. “He was easy to make fun of and he took it well. Sometimes you need a guy like that, who is a bit of punching bag. But it’s all in good jest, nothing too serious. He’s one of the guys. He’s going to be missed in that aspect.”

Frei said Nathan could help fill that gap, too, recalling one incident in which he was fined for something in training and decided to raise funds by holding an impromptu “garage sale” at his locker.

It’s that kind of stuff that can help keep a season from completely unravelling, Frei said.

“You need to stay balanced,” he said. “You can not have bad results that are depressing and knock you down and then on top of that everything is serious and you’re not finding any joy. It makes it harder. You need to have people who are upbeat who are making it a joy to come out here to train. That’s what motivates you to give it your all and find your way out of the hole.

“[Nathan] has brought that side out already. He’s a good player, technically quite good, aggressive. We’re going to need our depth.”