The name most closely associated to the Seattle Sounders in recent days has been Nicolas Lodeiro, a 27-year-old attacking midfielder currently playing for Argentina giants Boca Juniors. Lodeiro has not played in about five weeks after undergoing surgery on his meniscus, but is apparently close to returning.
Although he didn't directly acknowledge any specific efforts to sign Lodeiro, Sounders majority owner Adrian Hanauer wasn't exactly quashing the rumors either.
"We've looked a lot of players over the past eight years, but recently it's no secret we've been looking for attacking creative midfielders," Hanauer said when asked about Lodeiro on Nos Audietis. "Nicolas Lodeiro is an attacking creative midfielder, plays for a high-profile club in South America, and we've been in South America a lot. It wouldn't be a stretch to say he's a player we've watched multiple times and he's a player we like. But that's about as far as we can go."
Hanauer added: "There's a few players we've watched multiple times and we like, too, though."
One of those players could be joining the Sounders, too, which is apparently part of why they haven't signed anyone yet.
"The plan is to attempt to add two players, not just one," Sounders GM Garth Lagerwey said. "You have to get the right pair. We made the decision that we had to get the DP right and for the [Targeted Allocation Money] player to complement him. We didn't want to take the chance on signing the TAM guy first, even if that guy were available."
Lagerwey suggested the Sounders have effectively zeroed in on a group of about six names who they felt were the right fit as Designated Players. Once they realized no one from that group was available, they decided to wait until the summer transfer window.
"I wouldn't say I knew this in February, but it makes sense," he said. "In the class of player we're looking at, they are the kind of player that teams revolve around, whose teams are likely to be in contention and not likely to be willing to part with players who are so important."