It started as a seemingly out-of-the-blue rumor. One minute, Roman Torres was a highly regarded, but little known Panamanian center back that played in Colombia with Millonarios. The next, he was a rumored target of the Seattle Sounders.
At first, there was scant evidence that this was actually happening. Then there were outright denials. But then it started to look real. Now, there's so much evidence that it's impossible to ignore: The Sounders appear poised to announce the signing of the massive center back sometime soon.
- Torres was not in Millonarios' lineup for Thursday's match
- The Millonarios coach, while not confirming any move, certainly sounded like something was imminent
- The Colombian and Panamanian press are saying he's on his way to MLS, with Seattle the likely destination
- Local Spanish language reporter Carolina Antipolo says she has independently confirmed the reports
Obviously nothing has been announced and deals fall through all the time, but at this point the best information we have suggests this is likely to happen.
So what does that mean for the Sounders?
The biggest sticking point is that the Sounders don't have room on their roster after the signing of Andreas Ivanschitz earlier this week and the expected signing of Nelson Valdez on Friday. That means there needs to be another move on the way. The most likely scenario seems to be a trade. Who might be on the way out and what the Sounders might be getting in return -- aside from roster flexibility -- is anyone's guess.
There's also the rather glaring question of "how do the Sounders fit Torres into the lineup?" Torres was an absolute beast for Panama in the Gold Cup and isn't coming to MLS to sit on the bench. The easy answer to the question is he takes Brad Evans' spot, who moves back into a utility role. That gives the Sounders as an imposing backline as anyone in the league.
Another solution to this logjam is that ... it's not really a logjam. The Sounders are entering a rather busy part of their schedule, with six more games still to play in August and five more in September. Having a third starting quality center back would be a wonderful problem to have, especially given Marshall's struggles following long trips.
In any case, it looks like the Sounders are preparing for a rather significant influx of talent. Let's hope they can come together quickly.