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Promising Panamanian CB linked to Sounders, again

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Roberto Chen faced off against Jordan Morris at the U23 level.
Roberto Chen faced off against Jordan Morris at the U23 level.
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Roberto Chen is a name that should be reasonably recognizable to anyone who follows Seattle Sounders transfer rumors. The Panamanian center back was on trial with the Sounders back in 2013 and was reportedly close to signing. Instead, the then-18-year-old joined La Liga side Malaga on a transfer that was reportedly worth about €400,000.

Once considered the successor to Liga MX standout Felipe Baloy along Panama's backline, Chen's career has stalled since making the move to Spain. Now 21, he's been sent on loan twice and accumulated just about 500 first-team minutes while only occasionally being called into Panama's full team and battling injuries.

Chen's also, reportedly, now a free agent and media outlets around Panama and Spain are reporting that he's heading to MLS, either to New York City FC or the Sounders.

The Sounders made no secret about their affinity for Chen when he was in camp last time, but his price tag ended up being prohibitively expensive. Now available for a fraction of that cost, and still potentially in need of further reinforcements along the backline, this rumor at least passes the smell test.

Chen was once considered one of the top young center backs in CONCACAF and the Sounders would almost certainly be willing to make roster room, assuming it's at the right price.