Schmid: Sounders seeking help ‘in the middle of the field’

don.ruiz@thenewstribune.comAugust 2, 2013 

Seattle Sounders FC has a designated player spot open and less than one week to fill it during this summer transfer window.

One of Seattle’s three DP slots opened Thursday with the announcement that midfielder Shalrie Joseph had signed a new contract that does not include the DP status of his previous deal.

“That was something that was necessary for us to put ourselves in a position to add something significant to our team before (the transfer window closes) on Aug. 8,” coach Sigi Schmid said Thursday in an interview with Dave “Softy” Mahler on KJR-AM radio.

Schmid said the club is interested in “a midfielder or somebody who can play attacking second striker type of thing … definitely somebody in the middle of the field.”

Last week, general manager Adrian Hanauer said the club is “actively pursuing a couple of different” deals while the transfer window is open.

The Joseph move is the latest in a series of roster adjustments that included waiving defender Ashani Fairclaugh on June 27, which opened an international roster spot, and waiving forward Sammy Ochoa on July 24, which opened salary cap space.

The change in Joseph’s status moved the Sounders under the MLS limit of three designated players – whose full salaries do not count against the salary cap.

The club has two remaining DPs: forward Obafemi Martins and midfielder Mauro Rosales.

Seattle acquired Joseph in a preseason trade with Chivas USA. He has made seven appearances with four starts this season.

Joseph last appeared July 6, and has missed three consecutive games with a calf injury that is expected to keep him out again Saturday when FC Dallas visits CenturyLink Field.

YEDLIN BACK FROM KC

Sounders rookie defender DeAndre Yedlin was back in Seattle on Thursday, one day after playing 24 minutes in the MLS All-Stars’ 3-1 loss to AS Roma at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan.

“I thought I played all right,” Yedlin said. “I thought I should have had a goal, maybe two. I can’t pout over it or be depressed or anything.

“I enjoyed the experience. It was a great experience, and I’m proud and blessed and honored that I was able to be there.”

Schmid agreed Yedlin, 20, could have taken better advantage of his scoring chances, and added that is the next part of the rookie’s game that needs improvement.

“He has the potential to get forward, he has the willingness to get forward, his timing is usually pretty good, and now he just has to finish off those plays,” Schmid said. “Just like in our game against Chivas (last Sunday): He had some runs where he just carried it a little bit too long.

“And once he finishes up those plays, then he will have stepped up to that level.”

Player and coach also agreed that Yedlin should be available for full duty Saturday.

ADDED TIME

Schmid said he doesn’t know if either starting goalkeeper Michael Gspurning (forearm) or top reserve Marcus Hahnemann (hamstring) might return this weekend. … After completing training at CenturyLink Field, the Sounders gathered to watch a Seafair representative knight midfielder Brad Evans as “Prince of the Pitch.” Evans will participate in Seafair events including flying in a performance aircraft, judging a wakeboarding competition, and waving the checkered flag at hydroplane races. “You know it’s going to be loud,” Evans said of that final duty. “It’s wet. It will be cool.” … Schmid voiced support for Major League Soccer’s newly announced plan of expanding from 19 teams to 24 by 2020. He said two 12-team conferences should divide nicely into a 34-game schedule (playing your 11 division opponents home and away, and facing the other division’s 12 teams once). He also said he doesn’t think the addition of five teams should water down the quality of play for long.

Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808 don.ruiz@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer @donruiztnt

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