Could another former Seattle Sounders be poised for a return? That at least seems to be a possibility after news of Alvaro Fernandez’s departure from Argentina’s Gimnasia La Plata.
Fernandez was in the Seattle area as recently as a couple weeks ago, even checking out a Sounders training and watching the U.S. Open Cup match against the Kitsap Pumas. Fernandez has maintained a relationship with the Sounders over the years and still has an image of the team’s 2011 U.S. Open Cup victory on his Twitter profile.
It’s understandable why he’d have such positive feelings, too. Fernandez’s best professional season was in Seattle, when he scored 11 goals across all competitions while playing almost exclusively as a wide midfielder in 2011.
But Fernandez was eventually traded to the Chicago Fire in 2012, basically to make room for Christian Tiffert. Since then, he’s spent time in Qatar and Uruguay before spending the last four seasons with Gimansia.
Although Fernandez has not scored more than two goals in a season since leaving the Sounders, he’s also been asked to be less of a purely attacking player. Most of his time at Gimnasia was spent as a box-to-box midfielder.
While he may no longer be the prospect he once was, the 30-year-old is still a very capable player. It’s not at all hard to imagine him as a nice complement to either Aaron Kovar or Andreas Ivanschitz or as a change-of-pace to Erik Friberg. In a pinch, Fernandez could even play as a forward.
Signing someone like Fernandez — likely at a reasonable rate — would not save the Sounders’ season, but he could certainly help steady the ship. He would not require use of Allocation Ranking as he is not on the Allocation List. His salary on his previous stint was just $300,000.
At the very least, this is a great excuse to relive some of his best Sounders moments.