By John Boyle
Earlier this month, MLS veteran Shalrie Joseph was a surprise visitor at Sounders FC preseason training, and at the time the former All-Star midfielder was hopeful that he could land in Seattle for the 2013 season.
Joseph was still property of Chivas USA at the time, but the L.A.-based club had made it clear that he wasn’t part of their future. After Joseph trained with Seattle for two days, however, Sounders FC coach said it was unlikely that his team would acquire Joseph, but now the deal is reportedly done. The team hasn’t announced anything yet, though that is likely to happen this afternoon, but according to Soccerbyives.net, Seattle has traded a 2014 second-round pick for the seven-time MLS All-Star.
As Ives Galarcep speculates in his report, it is likely that Chivas is picking up a good portion of Joseph’s salary for 2013, because Joseph’s current contract has him paid as a designated player (he made $554,333.33 last season) and it is pretty unlikely Seattle would be willing to use its final DP slot on Joseph, especially when Schmid told reporters the following after Joseph trained with the team for a couple of days:
“I’m sure we’re going to sit down and talk to them. But there are a lot of hurdles to jump over and hoops to go through in order to make that happen. … I’m sure there’s a number of other teams that probably have an interest in him; but it’s all going to come down a little bit to what Chivas wants to do, what Shalrie wants to do as well. But at the end of the day, it’s something that it would be great if it happens, expectations are that it’s probably not going to happen.”
Schmid also told reporters that Joseph didn’t appear to be in very good shape: “It’s very evident that he hasn’t trained in a while. It’s evident that he’s very much behind physically, as well. He still needs to make improvements in that regard. You can see little sparks of what Shalrie has brought over the years — that’s why he was a Best XI player — but he’s still a ways away from that form.”
Then again, maybe Schmid was just trying to drive the price down a little bit for a player he really wanted.
Golf clap for Sigi Schmid pulling the old school garage sale haggle. “This is a piece of junk, but I’ll give you a buck for it” #PokerFace
— Ives Galarcep (@SoccerByIves) February 19, 2013
UPDATE: Sounders FC has now announced the trade, and as it turns out Joseph will be a designated player, and contrary to the report, Seattle is getting draft picks rather than giving them up, apparently for being willing to take on Joseph’s contract.