TUKWILA, Wash. – The MLS Primary Transfer Window has come and gone and the Seattle Sounders didn’t sign a much-anticipated new Designated Player attacker to help offset the loss of injured forward Jordan Morris.
However, general manager Garth Lagerwey says that will change this summer -- and the team is geared up to drop plenty of cash on whoever that player turns out to be.
“We’re going to make an eight-figure investment this summer in a DP,” Lagerwey told reporters at Seattle’s training session at Starfire Soccer Complex on Wednesday. “And we’re going to try to bring in a second player as well and to be totally honest, we’ve had that plan since the first week of February.”
That pledge comes on the heels of some comments to the media that landed Lagerwey in a bit of hot water with a portion of the Sounders’ fanbase.
The Seattle GM told MLSsoccer.com’s Andrew Wiebe on ExtraTime Live driven by Continental before Sunday’s match against LAFC that he thought “the days of Seattle being the biggest spender in the league are probably behind us,” -- a statement that some felt amounted to a tacit admission that Seattle are being surpassed in ambition by some of the league’s new big-market teams such as Atlanta United and LAFC.
On Wednesday, Lagerwey said he wanted to clarify those remarks.
“I totally understand why folks would get shaken by what I said,” Lagerwey said. “I shouldn’t have said it.
“I screwed up. I said some things inarticulately,” he added. “I came to this club from [Real] Salt Lake because of the ambition of the club, because of the ambition of the Sounders, because of the 40-year legacy and all the things they’d done and I hoped they could do. So, if you look at the performance of the club far before me, it’s always been one of the best teams in the league. ...There’s a lot of things that definitely aren’t about me and the club definitely has that ambition. They’ve historically been, at worst, in the top quarter of the league in spending and we will continue to be there going forward.”
Asked what he was trying to convey when he made the initial comments, Lagerwey said he meant them as a compliment to the league’s new franchises like Atlanta and LAFC, who he says have raised the quality of the rest of the league by spending and allocating resources ambitiously as expansion franchises.
“Where I meant to go was, ‘the rising tide is lifting all boats’ and that’s a great thing and that’s a really good thing as a consumer and as a fan of the Sounders because it means you’re going to watch better soccer,” Lagerwey said. “And every time we launch and we expand it strengthens the league and shows we have more markets to get into yet and we’re going to get bigger and bigger and that is really exciting.”