The wheels of the Seattle Sounders’ roster kept turning Wednesday as the club took a pair of veteran forwards in Stage Two of the MLS re-entry draft.
In the first round, the Sounders took Chad Barrett from New England; and in the second, they took Corey Hertzog from Vancouver. The moves give Seattle the rights to negotiate with each player.
“Chad is a hard-working forward who has good experience in MLS,” sporting director Chris Henderson said. “(Hertzog’s) attacking movement is good, and he has an instinct to find the ball in the penalty box.”
Barrett, 28, is a nine-year MLS veteran who provided two goals and two assists in 19 appearances with the Revolution last season.
Hertzog, 23, was the 13th selection of the 2011 SuperDraft. Last season, he had one goal and one assist in seven appearances with the Whitecaps.
The pair could join a Seattle roster that already this offseason had added goalkeeper Stefan Frei from Toronto, defender Chad Marshall from Columbus, forward/midfielder Tristan Bowen from Chivas USA and forward Kenny Cooper from Dallas.
Frei and Marshall each expressed their excitement at joining the Sounders during a pair of introductory conference calls Wednesday.
“They’re a big organization and backed by awesome fans,” Frei said. “I was ecstatic once I had the opportunity to join the team.”
Frei suffered a leg injury in 2011 and a broken nose in 2012 before losing his starting job in Toronto. However, he said he is fully healthy and eager for a fresh start in Seattle.
“The last two years have been frustrating for me on the pitch,” he said. “… I knew a change of scenery was probably best for me. It was just a question of where I would end up. I wanted to get to a team where I was wanted and needed, and a team where I could progress and get better as an individual, and Seattle totally fits that bill.”
At age 29, Marshall said he remains close to the form that earned him MLS defender-of-the-year honors in 2008 and 2009 as a member of the Columbus Crew.
“I kind of pride myself on my consistency and my play,” he said. “I felt like I had a good year for the Crew last year. I’m hoping to bring that to Seattle. There’s been a lot of change in the Crew obviously since the defender-of-the-year years, so I’m excited to get some stability. I kind of had a different center back partner every year since 2006, actually; so it will be nice to get some stability and have that going forward.”
Starting jobs seem available to both players, although each said he was brought in with no guaranteed role.
Meanwhile, reports intensified Wednesday across North America and abroad that Sounders designated player Clint Dempsey will return to Fulham of the English Premier League on a two-month loan. However, the Sounders said it will issue a statement only if and when a deal is complete.