Alvaro Fernandez, Seattle Sounders
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Sounders sign Alvaro Fernandez for second stint in Seattle

The Seattle Sounders have brought back a familiar face, signing midfielder Alvaro Fernandez on Thursday after he joined the team for training.

The Uruguayan playmaker first joined Seattle in the wake of his country's fourth-place finish in the 2010 World Cup, becoming the third Designated Player in club history and contributing 13 goals and 3 assists in 55 MLS appearances over two years. A fan favorite known as “Flaco,” he also played a key role in the Rave Green's 2010 and 2011 US Open Cup championships.

"It's always great to bring back members of the Sounders family, and Alvaro is a player who knows the organization very well and can instantly come in and contribute to this team," said Sounders FC general manager & president of soccer Garth Lagerwey in a statement. "Paired with yesterday's signing of Nicolás Lodeiro, we think we've added two players who immediately make our team better on the field."

Fernandez, 30, was traded to the Chicago Fire in July 2012 and subsequently moved on to Al-Rayyan SC (Qatar), Nacional in his homeland, and most recently Argentine outfit Gimnasia. He now rejoins a Sounders side in need of inspiration, with the slumping squad 10 points out of the Western Conference's final playoff spot with 14 games to go.

Fernandez is a close friend and former teammate of his countryman Nicolas Lodeiro, who was unveiled as Seattle's latest DP acquisition on Wednesday.  

"We are good friends," Lodeiro said of Fernandez this week. "We played together with Nacional in Uruguay and after then we played in the World Cup together. We had a lot of time with the national team, and that's where's the friendship -- which is fairly big -- came from."