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FO enters ‘busiest four weeks’ of year, as Sounders try to add another TAM player

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Sounders GM Garth Lagerwey says fans are what makes Seattle so attractive to potential signings.

Things like tifo are a major selling point to potential signings, according Sounders GM Garth Lagerwey.
Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

With Raúl Ruidíaz already signed and the summer transfer officially open as of Tuesday, the Seattle Sounders have moved their focus to acquiring a second impact player who can hopefully propel them toward a 10th straight postseason.

As of yet, though, there have been precious few rumors as to who that might be.

“We’re working on it,” Sounders GM and President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey told media on Wednesday. “This is the busiest four weeks of our whole year. We’ve got between now and August 8th [when the transfer window closes] to get something done and we’re going to do our best. As soon as I have an update, I’ll tell you.”

When asked about any potential roadblocks the Sounders may be facing in pursuit of TAM signings, Lagerwey suggested it was more about timing and money than convincing players to come to Seattle.

“Are we considered level with EPL? Probably not,” Lagerwey said. “But we don’t come up to that a lot. It’s because of our fans.

“Anyone who says ‘eh, I’m not sure’ we have a five-minute video that we pop in, here’s CenturyLink — it’s the 30th largest crowd in the world — here’s what they do with tifos, songs, boom-boom-clap, and everybody says yes. That’s our selling point, that’s our strength. As I’ve said many times, it allows us to punch above our weight on a global scale.”

What’s maybe even more helpful, Lagerwey acknowledged, is that the Sounders — and their MLS counterparts — have far more money to offer than ever before.

“Now that we’ve doubled the salary cap just in the last 18 months with all the TAM money, we can compete with all but the top 10 percent of players in the world in terms of wages,” he said. “It’s a new universe of player that we’re able to identify. It makes the deals more complicated, it does put us more in sync with the global market place.

“The market is going to explode after the World Cup and it’s going to get flooded with players. We’ve got a lot of guys in the hopper right now, but come Monday I think you’re going to see everyone showing their cards...and then we have three weeks to sort everything out and hopefully get another guy in here.”