The Seattle Sounders are not sitting silently as the race for postseason berths in the MLS Western Conference intensifies.
The club signed FC Kaiserslautern midfielder Christian Tiffert to a Designated Player deal Friday, according to his representatives. Kaiserslautern's website says that Tiffert's deal with MLS is for three years. Tiffert, 30, started 64 games in the Bundesliga over the last two years, and the club's connection to Tiffert has been in the works for more than a month.
Seattle confirmed its interest in the player to the Seattle Times on June 21, after Tiffert was in Seattle to tour the club's facilities and meet with team officials.
What remains to be seen is how this affects the Sounders' roster. The club already employs three DPs (Fredy Montero, Mauro Rosales and Alvaro Fernandez), and according to reports out of Colombia, talks of a Fernandez loan to Deportivo Cali fell apart. Fernandez is the most likely of the three to be shipped out, but it is also possible that one of the three current DPs will be moved out of a DP slot.
Rosales has been listed as a DP by the league since the start of the season, but with his 2012 guaranteed compensation being just $225,000 according to MLS Players Union documents, there may be the possibility that Seattle was able to move Rosales out of his DP slot to make room for Tiffert. It remains unclear why Rosales has been counted as a DP despite making less than the $350,000 salary cap amount for which DPs count, but Seattle could have paid down Rosales' salary figure to remove him from the DP slot.
(UPDATE- Seattle addressed the DP situation by trading Alvaro Fernandez to the Chicago Fire for allocation money.)
Since Tiffert will be joining the club mid-season, his cap hit will only be $175,000.
What do you think of this development? Do you see Tiffert being an upgrade to the Seattle midfield?
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