Seattle Sounders FC right back Tyrone Mears has received his United States green card.
That’s good news for the club, in that Mears no longer takes one of its international roster spots.
But Mears made clear after Tuesday training that it also is a meaningful thing for him personally.
“I really like living in America — especially in Seattle,” he said. “I definitely see a future here. So I was really, really happy with that.”
Mears, 33, was born in Stockport, England, and lists Manchester, England, as his hometown. He joined the Sounders last season, instantly moved into the starting lineup and has 35 appearances.
Green cards allow foreign nationals to live and work permanently in the United States. And it frees them from international status on MLS rosters.
Sounders FC now has seven players filling international roster spots: Oalex Anderson (St. Vincent & the Grenadines), Oniel Fisher (Jamaica), Erik Friberg (Sweden), Andreas Ivanschitz (Austria), Joevin Jones (Trinidad & Tobago), Roman Torres (Panama) and Nelson Valdez (Paraguay).
MLS teams are granted eight international roster spots. However, some clubs have more or fewer, because they are tradable. Earlier this month, Seattle acquired an extra international roster spot from Toronto FC.
“It’s good,” coach Sigi Schmid said of Mears’ change of status. “It opens up a foreign spot for us as we move forward with our decisions. Obviously as we’re looking at players that’s an easier possibility for us.”
General manager Garth Lagerwey has said the Sounders are looking to fill the designated player opening created by Obafemi Martins’ transfer to China, and that the club could add a significant player in addition to that.
The Sounders trained Tuesday after three days off. “Everybody was able to get away a little bit,” Schmid said. “Today was just training to get back in the rhythm … not overly hard, just to let everybody get their legs back under them. It was good. The spirit was good.” … Among those training was center back Brad Evans, who participated fully while working his way back from shoulder dislocation. “Last week was a good week,” Evans said. “Today was another good day.” Schmid said Evans’ status for the Saturday home match with the Montreal Impact will be determined later in the week. However, he indicated that midfielder Friberg is unlikely to be ready by the weekend. He also said newly acquired forward Herculez Gomez is ready for game minutes, although not yet for 90 of them. … The Sounders return to training Wednesday. On Thursday, they expect to be joined by players who had gone on international duty, including starters Clint Dempsey, Jordan Morris and Jones, and No. 2 goalkeeper Tyler Miller. “They fly back in Wednesday,” Schmid said. “Obviously they won’t be at training Wednesday, then on Thursday we’ll play it by ear. We’ve got to see how everybody does today, make sure nobody picks up any injuries, see how many minutes they play, and that will determine how what we’re going to do for the weekend.”