Sounders take DP hit with Joseph, but more moves planned

As surprising as the Seattle Sounders’ decision to trade for Shalrie Joseph may seem in light of previous statements that suggested the deal was dead, the most shocking part may lie in the details.

Not only did the Sounders acquire Chivas USA’s natural second-round SuperDraft picks for each of the next two years, but they are only taking on part of Joseph’s salary cap hit and swapping spots in the Allocation Ranking to move from No. 15 to No. 3.

The cost? Joseph will count as one of the Sounders’ three Designated Players.

“It was effectively the only way to get the deal done,” Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer told reporters during a conference call on Tuesday. “All in all, we’re very happy with the deal, otherwise we wouldn’t have done it.

“Would we rather have not have absorbed the DP spot? Sure, but it was only way to get the deal done.”

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Moving up in the Allocation Ranking was also a significant part of the deal.

“For us, it’s huge,” Hanauer said, noting that current and former Sounders Eddie Johnson, Kasey Keller and Marcus Hahnemann were all entered the league through that method. “With a little advanced notice, now that we know we’re No. 3 in the ranking, we can get out there and prime the pump a little bit.

"I guess it’s a little bit of an announcement to national team players or players who left our league by being sold that the Sounders are third in line and I imagine there are some players out there that would like to play for the Sounders.”

While the Sounders may not get a chance to use their Allocation Ranking anytime soon, Hanauer suggested several other big moves could be right around the corner.

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“We realize that gives us three DPs, between Mauro [Rosales], Christian [Tiffert] and Shalrie. But we also have two weeks left and we still have the ability to buy a player out if we decide to do that to open salary for a regular player or Designated Player if that was something we decided to do.”

One player that will likely be signed, according to Hanauer, is defender Djimi Traoré. The veteran of multiple top-flight European leagues has been training with the Sounders for the past couple of weeks and has apparently impressed coaches enough to be considered an option at centerback. That’s where the Sounders are particularly thin, and with Patrick Ianni’s timetable for return from injury still unclear, Jhon Kennedy Huratdo and Zach Scott are the only other center backs on the roster with any MLS experience.

But Traoré might just be the tip of the iceberg.

“I’d be lying if I said we aren’t also very interested in acquiring another forward,” Hanauer said, reiterating that the team is willing to spend “big” money on that player. “I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t a player who could potentially fill that Designated Player role, of which we have three right now. That gives you a heads up that we are considering all of our options over the next couple weeks.”