As the MLS transfer window closed on Tuesday night, the Seattle Sounders announced a pair of signings they hope will help bolster their depth entering the heart of the MLS schedule.
The Sounders agreed to deals with center back Xavier Arreaga and former Sounder Joevin Jones. Both deals are pending the receipt of P-1 visas and international transfer certificates.
In 63 appearances with the Sounders. Jones scored two goals and picked up 17 assists. He was also member of both the 2016 MLS Cup Championship squad and the 2017 MLS Cup Final.
The idea of bringing back Jones is something that the club was interested in but figured it may be delayed some time since he was still under contract until 2020 with SV Darmstadt 98, a Bundesliga 2 team. All it took was a phone call, some number crunching and the Sounders were ready to reunite.
“We got a call from his agent last week,” Sounders GM Garth Lagerwey said. “And he said, hey we can do this. We had been saying, is it this year? Is it next year? Is it next summer? Because Joevin was out of contract in the summer of 2020. And so we got the call, and the first thing I was man, we can’t do this now. I went down the hall and asked Ravi (Ramineni) and 24 hours later, Ravi said we could do it and I called Joe’s agent and said if it’s this number right here, we can do this.”
That number? $150,000, which will be paid to the German club in January of 2020. The team produced a video announcing the return of the 27-year-old Jones to Seattle.
The 24-year-old Arreaga comes to the Sounders from Ecuador’s Barcelona SC where he spent four years with the club. In 79 appearances, Arreaga scored eight goals and played in all 10 of the team’s matches so far in the 2019 season. Seattle’s VP of soccer and sporting director Chris Henderson has had his eye on the Ecuadorian product for a while.
“We have followed Xavier for some time in Ecuador and our scouting department has watched him live many times,” Henderson said in a press release. “He is a cerebral defender and organizes the team from the back, in addition to being technically sound and comfortable with the ball at his feet. Xavier is also a proven leader, as shown by captaining his club side at the young age of 24.”
Here is Arreaga speaking with the media regarding the move to Seattle.