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Attacking players: Free to a good home

The pool of players available for a free transfer this Summer isn’t infinite, but it’s not without depth for Seattle to potentially choose from.

Last Updated
6 min read

We’re less than a month away from the opening of the MLS summer transfer window. The Seattle Sounders are in pretty clear need of an injection of quality if they’re going to have a real chance at adding MLS silverware to the collection beyond catching a hot streak and riding their luck.

The team has some flexibility on the roster —we know that they have an open U22 player spot, and possibly space for a TAM player as well within the salary cap. Adrian Hanauer has said there could be increased maneuverability in the form of outbound transfers as well. To that end, the rumor of Brazilian interest in Léo Chú would both open up another U22 spot and provide some cash that they could turn around and reinvest in a transfer fee. There’s the potential of other young players being sold, or even a move of some sort to open up Raúl Ruidíaz’s DP spot through a transfer or buyout.

Whatever flexibility they have when the window opens, the Sounders are going to be looking for the best bang for their buck. Paraphrasing Hanauer, they’d rather bring in a player with a $5 million valuation on a free than have to pay that valuation in a transfer fee for the same or a comparable player. With that in mind, let’s take a wander down the summer window’s discount aisles, or the lists of out of contract or soon-to-be out of contract players according to Transfermarkt. We’re going to be focusing primarily on players in attacking positions, as that’s the area that could be most directly improved.

Names you might know

Kelechi Iheanacho: To start things off we’ve got the most recognizable name on the list. Kelechi Iheanacho was once a promising prospect coming up through Manchester City’s system. He went on to score 21 goals and add seven assists in 64 appearances for the club before moving to Leicester City where he’s been playing since 2017. In the years since he’s racked up 61 goals and 34 assists in 232 appearances for Leicester.

It’s a respectable tally, and even more so when you take into account that he’s seldom been more than a rotational starter. Last season while playing in the Championship, he put up six goals and three assists across all competitions in only 1,125 minutes for a goal contribution rate of 0.75 per 90 minutes. Bringing him in would likely require opening up a DP spot, but with him turning 28 in October (he and I have the same birthday, isn’t that fun?) he and Jordan Morris could combine to be Seattle’s answer at the No. 9 spot for at least a few years.

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