Christian Tiffert looks back for the ball
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Seattle Sounders part ways with German midfielder Christian Tiffert

SEATTLE — Only hours before the start of their 2013 MLS campaign on Saturday, the Seattle Sounders announced the departure of Designated Player Christian Tiffert.

The buy-out had been expected for a few weeks, as Tiffert was no longer training with the team, and club officials had spoken tentatively about finding a resolution to the situation.

In addition to clearing roster space for another potential DP, the departure clears  deemed expendable by virtue of the Sounders’ midfield depth. Among the midfielders who will be competing for minutes are Brad Evans, Mario Martinez, Steve Zakuani, Andy Rose and Designated Players Mauro Rosales and Shalrie Joseph.

His time in MLS lasted just a shade longer than seven months, during which he featured in 16 league matches (including playoffs).

Tiffert joined the team on July 26, 2012, on a transfer from German Bundesliga side FC Kaiserslautern, expected to give the team the creative force in the central midfield they had lacked. In two seasons at Kaiserslautern, Tiffert had accumulated four goals and 18 assists, including a Bundesliga-leading 17 assists in 2010-11.

But while Tiffert had his moments at CenturyLink Field, he never quite had the impact the Sounders had hoped for. By the end of the year, he was playing almost as much in wide positions as he was in the middle.

He ends his MLS career with no goals and four assists.

No word yet on Tiffert's next destination.