Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer said Wednesday that just about everything is on the table for his team over this off-season: from losing a player in next week’s expansion draft to potentially bringing in a second designated player.
“We’re always looking to get better, and we’re willing to be aggressive to do so,” he said. “We’ve toyed with the idea and have had conversations with teams for trading for a second DP slot. … It’s certainly possible, but we’ll only do it if it makes sense for the team to win more games and perform better on the field, not just to bring another designated player onto the team.”
The MLS season comes to an official close once the Los Angeles Galaxy and Real Salt Lake conclude their 5:30 p.m. Sunday championship game at Qwest Field.
The very next day, the league opens a half-day trade window. Soon after that window shuts, clubs must submit their lists of 11 players who will be protected from the Philadelphia Union’s expansion draft.
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Hanauer said the Sounders retain the rights to every player who ended the season on its roster except for defender Tyson Wahl, and Hanauer said he hopes to reach a new deal with him.
Forward Fredy Montero and defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado are on loan from their Colombian team, however Major League Soccer has the option to buy those contracts.
“We’re very happy with Hurtado and Montero,” Hanauer said. “And we’re working toward keeping those players for another season and possibly seasons beyond that.”
The Sounders plan to hold player tryouts in Las Vegas in December, in advance of MLS’ college player combine Jan. 9-12 in Florida.
The college SuperDraft will be held Jan. 13.
The Sounders plan to begin training camp in late January. As they did last season, the club will begin training in the Puget Sound area and then shift overseas. This season they plan to practice and play training games Spain, with perhaps a short stop in London.
The Sounders’ are scheduled to begin their second season March 25 when the Union visits Qwest Field.