By John Boyle
Reports surfaced this morning that Seattle Sounders FC is going to sign German midfielder Christian Tiffert as a designated player, and while the team has yet to confirm that, a Sounders spokesman did say earlier that Seattle was in “advanced negotiations” with Tiffert. Teams are allowed only three designated players (highly-paid players whose salaries count only partially toward a team’s salary cap), however, so adding Tiffert would mean getting rid of a DP, and moments ago Seattle did just that, trading midfielder Alvaro Fernandez to the Chicago Fire for allocation money.
So while the Tiffert signing is not yet official, this trade is a sign that it is coming soon.
Fernandez was at practice today, but Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid would not comment when asked if all of Seattle’s designated players—Fredy Montero, Mauro Rosales and Fernandez—would make the trip to Colorado for Saturday’s game. Asked if there was a way Seattle could adjust one of those player’s contracts to remove the DP label, allowing the team to add Tiffert without a transaction, Schmid said, “We have looked into that but it doesn’t look like that’s going to be feasible.”
Fernandez, 26, joined Sounders FC midway through the 2010 season after representing Uruguay in the 2010 World Cup, and in two-plus seasons he has 13 goals and three assists in 55 games. His nine goals in 2011 were the second most on the team.
“We would like to thank Alvaro for his contributions to the club over the last two years and wish him well in the next chapter of his career with the Fire,” Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer said in a press release.
More soon if/when the Tiffert announcement comes.