With the Seattle Sounders 2022 getting off to an early start with Concacaf Champions League, there is expected to be added emphasis on continuity.
That’s exactly why they’ve picked up on the contract option on 27-year-old Xavier Arreaga, which keeps the Ecuadorian through next December.
In 2021, Arreaga started 25 of 26 games for a total of 2,165 minutes of regular season play and was a crucial piece in Brian Schmetzer’s three-man backline. Xavier’s partnership with Yeimar Gomez Andrade — who started in a team-high 36 matches in all competitions — was actually the most consistent pairing in the Rave Green’s defensive end.
Although Arreaga is an extremely talented defender with the potential to be a top centerback in MLS, it is no secret that there have been times when wrong decisions or mistakes coming out of the back have led to a few underwhelming performances.
No one is more aware of which aspects of his game need improvement than Arreaga himself. It is that self-awareness that has allowed him to get better year after year and has allowed him to double the number of minutes played since arriving here in 2019. It is that growth that is a crucial element in his role, which has now earned him a possibility of a longer-term deal.
According to sources with knowledge of negotiations with Sounders, Pulso Sports was told that there are ongoing conversations and an intent to lock up the defender to a multi-year contract within the next few months.
The initiative to bring Arreaga from Barcelona SC in 2019 envisioned a young prospect that would eventually mold into a defensive pillar for the franchise. Another appealing attribute in the Guayaquil native’s behalf is that after going through the appropriate migratory procedure, he is likely to soon get a Green Card that would open up an international spot.
It has not always been the case, but there have been glimpses of aggressive defending, accurate passing, goal scoring on set pieces and enough evidence to suggest that Arreaga’s end product could fulfill that expectation.
Nonetheless, it is the future contract extension that will indicate the organization’s true perception on their initial investment and how committed they are to Arreaga.