TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing
The Seattle Sounders officially announced the signing of 28-year-old Korean international defender Kim Kee-Hee on Tuesday, two days ahead of the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16 series against Santa Tecla.
Seattle used Targeted Allocation Money to acquire Kim, who has spent his last two seasons with Shanghai Shenhua of the Chinese Super League. He joins the Sounders roster pending receipt of his P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate.
“We’re excited add Kim to our roster,” Sounders GM and president of soccer operations Garth Lagerwey said in a statement. “He brings solid experience from some top-flight leagues and international tournaments and gives us more depth at a vital position.”
✅ First training session with the new club pic.twitter.com/2VdjML5dFc— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) February 28, 2018
Even if Kim doesn't supplant current Sounders CBs Roman Torres and Chad Marshall on the club's depth chart immediately, he gives coach Brian Schmetzer incentive to rotate his squad at the position. Both Torres and Marshall are over 30, and Torres will miss a considerable chunk of time this season as Panama travel to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Kim could also be in Russia this summer with the South Korean national team, having appeared six times during their successful qualifying run.
“Kim is a strong, experienced player that we believe will be a good addition to our defense,” Schmetzer said in a statement. “His signing gives us very good options at center back going forward, and I’m excited to see how he integrates to the squad.”
Kim made 45 appearances over the past two seasons with Shanghai Shenhua, including all 30 games of the 2016 campaign. Before that, he spent three seasons with Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC of the K-League, the top division in South Korea, where he made 80 appearances from 2013-2015 and won league titles in 2014 and 2015. His pro career began in 2011 with South Korean club Daegu FC, where he spent two seasons before being loaned to Qatari side Al-Sailiya SC for the 2012-2013 campaign.