Draft day saw the Seattle Sounders pick a player who could see significant time at centerback in 2013 and was in the top four on their team draft board, but it cost them Allocation Money. Considering how tight the team is to the cap does that mean that they are done searching for new talent? The answer given in Thursday's conference call with local reporters was a long version of "No" surrounded by a lot of answers about Eriq Zavaleta and Dylan Remick and finding new players.
"We are tight. The only reason it worked is because he is a Generation Adidas player, so Zavaleta is going to go below the line which means we bump a minimum salary guy into our top 20. That's the reason it works," Sigi Schmid explained. "If we would have had to find a defender or sign a defender who is making a significant amount of money, we wouldn't be able to do that. Being able to find a Generation Adidas player who has no-cap situation allowed us to give up a little bit of that cap money. We're still working on a couple of things that might generate Allocation Money coming back the other way."
That implies another loss. And not just the loan of Fredy Montero, because that came up too. "Obviously we're not done with what we're trying to do up front with Montero and that loan," Sigi said. "We're looking at possibly adding something there for sure. We have options sort of within the team."
Another player(s) gone, but an addition at forward (this is not Zavaleta, who was mainly talked about at centerback - more coming on that) would make things interesting. With the addition of three defenders and Sigi's speaking about the strength of the midfield due to the midseason additions of Zakuani and Martinez (maybe Tiffert, but his name went unmentioned) this suggests a big ticket player would likely be at forward. Sigi indicated that the Supplemental Draft will be used to fill depth and mentioned the central midfield specifically.
At this time it takes a series of moves in order to make it happen. The Montero loan is not official. Seattle still needs more Allocation Money as well, but Adrian Hanauer says that those are not the only things holding up a future signing.
"We wouldn't have done, and we wouldn't be in the process of doing some of the things we're doing if we didn't think that [we were getting better]," Hanauer said on the same call. "Ultimately our goal is to have an even better team than we had this past year. I'm confident, but I'm also not one to let confidence turn into cockiness. It's going to take a lot of hard work and ingenuity and good timing and a little luck which everybody needs to get there."
That signing could happen soon, or not so soon, or even later.
"We understand that we have an important Champions League Quarterfinal coming up so we're cognizant of that, but at the same time we don't want to make a quick decision because that may compromise us as we head into the season," Hanauer said of a new signing. "Ultimately it takes us towards our big goal which is winning MLS Cup."
Could that mean the signing would come as late as the Summer Transfer Window?
"Back to my other answer - it will happen, all of our signings, including a potential DP, will happen when all the factors lineup together. Which is that we've got the right player, the right quality of contact with that player, the negotiation has gone appropriately. It could be this summer. Our transfer window is open for a while so I would hope that we could get something done prior to the summer window, but no guarantees."
Adrian just asked for your patience, but it seems likely that the three new defenders are not all that Seattle will be doing this off-season.