Sounders sign veteran center back Djimi Traore

It's official: After a long training stint, Djimi Traoré has put pen to paper with the Seattle Sounders, the club announced Saturday.

The 32-year-old center back brings to Seattle a wealth of experience, having spent 16 years playing professionally in England and France. Perhaps his most notable period was a seven-year run with England's Liverpool FC between 1999 and 2006 in which he was part of a team that won the 2005 UEFA Champions League and 2006 FA Cup, among other trophies.

"Djimi has a great deal of experience and has played in the top leagues in Europe," Sounders FC sporting director Chris Henderson said in a statement. "He's a very good defender and makes smart decisions with the ball coming out the back. Djimi brings us confidence and leadership in the back."

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The signing will provide some much-needed cover and experience to the Seattle backline, following Jeff Parke's departure to Philadelphia and an injury to Patrick Ianni. Traoré had been training with the Sounders for much of the preseason and appeared for them in the Desert Diamond Cup.

Traoré was most recently with French powerhouse Olympique Marseille, where he spent the 2011-12 European season and featured in L'OM's run to a Coupe de la Ligue title. He has also appeared for clubs such as Monaco, Portsmouth, Birmingham City and Stade Rennais.

In addition to his club career, the French-born defender had a brief stint with the Malian national team, appearing six times for the country of his ancestry and scoring a goal between 2004-06.