Seattle Sounders FC checked off a veteran goalkeeper from its offseason shopping list Tuesday with the signing of Troy Perkins, who ranks third among active keepers with 213 MLS appearances.
The club had listed goalkeeper signings as an offseason priority after the retirement of reserve keeper Marcus Hahnemann and the loss of No. 3 keeper Josh Ford in the expansion draft.
“Troy is an accomplished player that is well-known throughout the league,” coach Sigi Schmid said through a press release. “He has been one of the most consistent performers at the goalkeeper position during his MLS career, and he brings experience to our roster.”
The club did not announce whether Perkins, 33, will compete with incumbent Stefan Frei for the starting job, or simply replenish some of the depth that was lost.
“The only thing I know is that they want me to come and compete,” Perkins said. “They want me to do everything I can, and at the end of preseason we’ll go from there. If even at that point they stick with who they got, I’m still going to push day in and day out.”
Perkins, 33, joined MLS in 2004 as an undrafted rookie with D.C. United. He moved to the Norwegian First Division from 2008-10 before returning to MLS with D.C. United, Portland and Montreal. He came to Seattle from Montreal after being unclaimed in the re-entry draft.
“We were pushing for a deal somewhere else, and at the last minute Seattle came in,” he said. “At first I wasn’t sure: Going back to the West Coast all the way from the East Coast is a big move for my family. But at the end of the day, it’s an opportunity at a great club.”
Perkins’ best season was 2006, when he was named MLS goalkeeper of the year and made the Best XI and All-Star teams after going 15-6-9 with eight shutouts and a 1.13 goals against average.
He has seven caps with the U.S. national team, most recently in 2010.
In 2014, Perkins led the Impact with 21 starts and a 1.67 goals-against average.
“I feel right now that I’m probably in the best fitness shape and physical shape that I’ve ever been, to be honest with you,” he said. “I think I’ve got many years to go. If you look how long Marcus was still part of the club, hopefully I can play that long; and as well Kasey (Keller), Kasey played for a long time and finished his career pretty well. I think it’s a great line of goalkeepers to follow. You couldn’t match yourself to a better heritage.”