Just nine months ago the Seattle Sounders faced Club America. With seven minutes left in that two-leg series loss, Dario Benedetto took the pitch for America. Since then Benedetto helped America win the CCL, transferred to Boca Juniors and helped them in the semifinals of the Copa Libertadores with his teammate Nicolas Lodeiro.
Lodeiro and Benedetto could now be reunited with Seattle Sounders FC if word out of Argentina is to believed that an MLS team is putting together a $12-14 million dollar bid for the potent goal scorer.
I've heard two teams... Seattle and LA Galaxy #Benedetto— Juan G. Arango (@JuanG_Arango) December 23, 2016
What is more clear is that MLS has put in an offer. Boca Juniors President Daniel Angelici is on tape saying so.
Boca is in an interesting place. They lost Lodeiro to the Sounders and are rumored to be losing Carlos Tevez to a team in China. They may even be trying to bring Ignacio Piatti from Montreal Impact.
Though one of the powers of the Western Hemisphere, they are in flux. MLS is busy raiding Central American powers, but this bid is the type that raises attention throughout CONCACAF and CONMEBOL.
Benedetto has a Liga MX title and twice took the CCL with Club America. He has a potent goal-scoring record with 7 goals in just half a season with Boca Juniors and 64 goals since his 2011 loan in 147 league games playing for Gimnasia Jujuy, Arsenal of Argentina, Tijuana Xolos, Club America and Boca Juniors.
He’s accomplished all of this at just 26 years old.
The Sounders recently announced that their goal is to fill all of CenturyLink Field within the next 10 years. Signing a successful player from two of the greatest teams in Mexico and Argentina helps them towards that goal.
There are reasons to be skeptical, of course. Chief among them is the money, as this would be a record outlay for an MLS team. Hanauer, Roth & Company just put out a large-for-MLS transfer fee to acquire Lodeiro. They’ve also got significant funds committed to Clint Dempsey and have a stated interest of running a “sustainable” business, presumably one that is at least close to break-even. Considering how tough of a negotiation the Sounders went through with Boca Juniors in the Lodeiro transfer, it’s worth wondering if they’re interested in another bout of back and forth.
That said, a front four of Benedetto, Dempsey, Lodeiro and Morris for the next year or two compares favorably to any team on this side of the Atlantic, even if it is probably a bit more unbalanced than Brian Schmetzer would like. The prospect of having three players so clearly inclined to be purely offensive is another reason to take this rumor with a grain of salt.
But when the club you follow wins a Cup, has wealthy owners and 43,000 fans in the stands they get connected with crazy rumors. And sometimes those work out. Even more often, though, they fall by the side of the road with the likes of Joan Verdu, Prince Tagoe, Djibril Cisse and more.
Follow the winds on the Tevez move and a potential swoop by Boca towards Piatti. The dominoes could fall in Seattle’s favor.
Clearest team to get Benedetto is #Sounders I am told. Price is 14 million USD, but it all will depend on whether tevez leaves or not.— The Bolivian Yank (@TheBolivianYank) December 23, 2016
This is probably well short of “a thing we think is happening,” but it’s definitely at the stage where it warrants attention. ‘Tis the season, after all.