TUKWILA, Wash. -- The Seattle Sounders acquired seven-time MLS all-star Shalrie Joseph in a trade with Chivas USA on Tuesday that will eat up Seattle's remaining designated player slot and could lead to more roster moves before the start of the MLS season.
Seattle also acquired two future draft picks and a higher allocation spot in the trade. In return, the Sounders were forced to use their coveted DP spot on Joseph, although Chivas is taking a portion of the salary cap hit.
"It was effectively the only way to get the deal done. All in all we're very happy with the deal otherwise we wouldn't have done it," Seattle general manager Adrian Hanauer said. "We realize that gives us three designated players between Mauro (Rosales), Christian (Tiffert) and Shalrie. We also have two weeks left and we still have the ability to buy a player out if we decide to do that to open up a slot ... if that was something we decided to do. Would we rather have not absorbed a designated player slot sure, but that was the only way to get the deal done."
Joseph is a 10-year veteran of the MLS, spending most of his career with New England before a trade to Chivas last season. Joseph has four times been named to the MLS Best XI team and was a finalist for league MVP in 2009.
His time with Chivas was expected to come to an end after new coach Jose Luis Sanchez Sola announced at the start of training camp that Joseph was not in the club's future plans.
Yet how he fits with Seattle is just as much of a question.
Hanauer said the team was enticed by Joseph's versatility and his ability to play nearly any position down the centre of the field. With how Seattle's lineup currently sits, his most likely positions would be as a central defender or a centre midfielder. And that's where a roster move could be coming.
Hanauer indicated multiple times during a conference call that the Sounders could buyout one player before the season begins on March 2. And he indicated the team is actively pursuing help for Eddie Johnson at forward, a move that could require a designated player spot.
Of Seattle's two remaining designated players, Tiffert would seem the most likely to be moved because of the depth the Sounders have in the midfield with Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Mario Martinez, Andy Rose, Alex Caskey and now Joseph.
"I would be lying if we said we're not also very interested in acquiring another forward and I'd be lying if I wasn't saying that was a player that could fill that designated player position," Hanauer said. "That gives you a heads up that we are considering all of our options over the next couple of weeks."