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Nico Benezet bids emotional farewell to Sounders

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“I have never felt this way before.”

Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

While nothing is official and it’s at least theoretically possible that he could still re-sign, Nicolas Benezet suggested he’s played his final game for the Seattle Sounders in a heart-felt message to fans via Twitter.

The Sounders announced on Wednesday that they had declined Benezet’s option — likely an increase over the $650,000 salary he made in 2021 — but also said they were still negotiating with several players who were now out of contract. The Sounders were likely still interested in Benezet, but only at a lower number.

Whether or not the Sounders actually made an offer, Benezet seems to believe he won’t be coming back, saying “I wish I could have played for this team longer” and “I will never forget these last 4 months with you and I wish you the best in the future.”

The feeling seems to have been mutual, with dozens of fans replying to the tweet with various forms of well-wishes and frustration that he won’t be returning.

Although Benezet only joined the Sounders in the summer, he clearly made an impression. Benezet scored in his debut — against the Portland Timbers no less — and finished the season with 4 goals and 1 assist in all competitions. He also endeared himself to fans with a social-media presence that leaned heavily into manga-themed memes.