Former New England and Chivas USA midfielder Shalrie Joseph was acquired today in a deal that also netted Seattle Sounders FC the third spot in Allocation Order, a second round draft pick in each of the next two drafts and an unknown amount of cap relief though he is still a Designated Player. Chivas now has Seattle's old 15th spot in Allocation Order.
"We're happy to add a player of Shalrie's experience to our team," said Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid via team release. "He's been to MLS Cups before in his tenure with New England. He's a player that has proven himself to be a leader in game situations and a player of his quality can only help us be a better team as we move into this season. "
It is a complicated deal and Adrian Hanauer made some of the particulars clear in his conference call with Seattle area media. First, Joseph is still a DP. "It was effectively the only way to get the deal done," Hanauer explained during the call.
Second, the Sounders are not picking up all of his cap hit. Third, Seattle moved up in the allocation order.
Moving up in the Allocation Order/Ranking Hanauer indicated is a way to declare to former MLS players or current United States National Team players that Seattle is interested in their services and that the Sounders could "prime the pump" in getting them back. He also called it a gamble, because it is hard to know who would come back when, but Seattle has used this system to acquire Keller, Ochoa, Johnson and Hahnemann.
The team is also still looking at a DP quality forward. A theme of the conversation was that players like that are hard to acquire, that a buyout of a current DP (Rosales, Tiffert, Joseph) is still possible and that the team will still spend the money necessary to get such a player.
When asked if this is part of a dominoes falling situation Hanauer's response was coy. "If this is part of bigger plan we will tell you as pieces of plan unfold," he said.
Whether that means a foreign DP signing (Saviola is on another team's Discovery list) or a returning national teamer remains to be seen.
In all this is one of the more complex trades in MLS history with Chivas netting a tiny bit of cap room and a DP slot, but sacrificing draft picks, allocation order and a player. Seattle gets depth in the midfield and centerback as well as the potential for future signings.
Joseph is happy to join the Sounders.
So psych about my trade to Seattle. Preciate all the welcome n shout out. Can't wait (Bart Scott voice)— Shalrie Joseph(@ShalrieJoseph21) February 19, 2013
Hanauer said the hunt for a DP qualify forward is ongoing. "Without jumping too far ahead of things that there is a high likelihood that Djimi Traore will be with our team as well so that's another centerback and a player like Shalrie that can fill a lot of different roles. But, I'd be lying if I said that we are not also very interested in acquiring another forward. And I'd be lying if I said that wasn't a player that could potentially fill a designated player [slot]."
They are considering all options over the next weeks in order to improve the team. But it is weaker now heading into the Champions League.
"Our big goal is MLS Cup," he stated. And so maybe the LA Galaxy plan is in effect.