Tiffert signs DP deal with Sounders

Tiffert (Getty Images)

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?

Share your thoughts below.

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55 Responses to Tiffert signs DP deal with Sounders

  1. ISAF says:

    how much is EJ and Montero making?

  2. Saurus says:

    EJ makes just 100k this year, 150k next.

  3. OneLegged says:

    EJ is a bargain at $100k, Montero is a DP at around $550k IIRC

  4. SteveE says:

    Flaco apparently had a long private chat with Sigi after practice yesterday. We will hopefully hear soon if he is there today. My thoughts are that is where this comes. Maybe we can make Mauro a non-DP by trading an Evans or someone for allocation. Will be interesting to see how we make this deal done.

  5. Advocate says:

    Hoping the pieces stay in place; i.e. keep all current “DPs”. If we lose Flaco to gain Tiffert, we improve–but the idea of a 4 man midfield of Flaco, Alonso, Tiffert, and Rosales really gets a guy excited.

    Would be a fantastic move to keep all of them, and given the cap space Seattle’s been clearing, I do think it’s possible as the article above states.

    Strange situation with Mauro counting as a DP….darn tricky MLS accounting rules.

  6. bigprof says:

    sea still cheap bastards

  7. DavidKamerun says:

    What’s the deal with Fernandez? He seems to be doing a good job for Seattle (though I am, admittedly, not a Seattle follower). Is he just unhappy?

  8. Dave says:

    EJ is a bargain. Montero is a ripoff. I guess it kind of comes out even.

  9. ISAF says:

    No way. Seriously? I’m suprised he took that deal

  10. bigsoccer says:

    He scores like every 2.5 games. Not bad for Half a million if you ask me.

  11. ricecloudnine says:

    It’s more an issue of there being 3 DPs in Seattle already and he’s been the weakest. Need to remove one to sign Tiffert as a DP.

  12. SteveE says:

    He was 1 foot out the door in soccer. He was ready to quit. If he wanted one more chance, It isn’t a bad deal for him. He hadn’t had a good few years.

    What we are getting out of him for the price we are paying is amazing.

  13. Nelson says:

    Good question. For whatever reason Sigi doesn’t seem to like Fernandez. Yet he puts up with Montero. Go figure.

  14. SteveE says:

    Flaco has never seemed to adapt well. He has great skill, but the physical nature of the MLS has not been good to him. He is fantastic in the CONCACAF, but I think a lot of people have an issue with a DP just for that. Plus Zak is on his way back so that only helps a lot.

  15. WileyJ says:

    This is good, makes SE4TTLE better. Those saying Montero is a rip off are trippin’, we
    re lucky to have him.

  16. DavidKamerun says:

    Thanks, ya’ll. Yeah, I can see how the physicality might be a challenge for him. But the kid’s got great skill and it’s certainly nice to see a young, top prospect South American do well in MLS. How much does he make? Any chance of converting him to non-DP? He might just be better suited (like Benny Feilhaber) for a team with a more technical system?

  17. Dave says:

    How long does the list have to get of players the Sounders bring in but “don’t fit” well with Montero? Now we are hearing about he and EJ not getting along. The lack of team chemistry always centers around Fredy. He may score but it takes a great team to win the MLS Cup and he seems to hinder that.

  18. majora999 says:

    EJ had an offer for a lot more money from MLS but he decided to reject it and try his luck in Mexico. Once he decided to come back to the MLS again he was unlikely to get as favorable of a deal

  19. Jeremy says:

    I think he would do better in a more technical system but I think the problem with that is that the MLS teams that are more technical are also some of the most physical teams in the league. Actually I think he would fit centrally for a team like Houston but I can’t see Kinnear tolerating a player who struggles with the physicality of the league. Maybe Seattle can work out a trade within the league to clear the DP spot though.

  20. SteveE says:

    From my understanding, it would be tough. He is only a DP due to transfer fee, so if we loaned him out and then brought him back, that may push him under DP status. But the Mauro thing is the odd part. That may be the difference. He makes under DP money so maybe they can push him under?

  21. cairo says:

    Have no knowledge of Tiffert, so it’s hard to say how he’ll help. But Seattle does need a creative force in the central midfield. Alonso is the best ball winner in the league and Evans does a solid job there as well, but they are not creators. Fredy is the most creative player on the roster, and too often he’s forced to drift away from goal to get the ball and make something happen. IF Tiffert can be that creator AND they keep the roster intact, the Sounders will be very strong in MLS and arguably the best prepared to navigate Champions league. Don’t think Flaco is worth DP money, but for $200K he’d be worth it. I love him on the left and one can’t count on Zakuani returning to his old self.

  22. David K. says:

    What kind of player is Tiffert? I dont know anything about him.

  23. T says:

    MLS rules are funny. Is it possible to have 4 DP’s technically speaking, and find a way to use allocation money to buy down the salary of one of the lowest earning DP’s. I really do not know how MLS does its “business”.

  24. nic d "the TEXAS 2 stepper" says:

    Can we just make it 4 DP’s and apply a luxury tax (*rev sharing of that tax money)and everyone be happy.

    Hell make it 5 for all I care

  25. Jeremy says:

    I don’t think so. Mauro is a DP because they deferred his DP status from last year. I don’t think you can just re-neg on that.

  26. Jeremy says:

    He’s a #10 who has been likened to Brad Davis when it comes to set piece delivery.

  27. Seattle Coug says:

    This is not true. He played for the league’s veteran minimum last year with a promise that if he produced he’d be financially rewarded. That’s not not deferring DP status.

  28. Vic says:

    Agreed. Small markets will benefit from increased attendance when richer teams visit.
    It would help with sponsors, attendance, media and tv revenue.

  29. Wendell Gee says:

    This is one reason why those in utter hysterics over the trade in Seattle were being so stupid.

  30. Wendell Gee says:

    What about Montero is difficult to put up with?

  31. Wendell Gee says:

    You must have some secret inside info because as far as I now that “list” is no one.

  32. nic d "the TEXAS 2 stepper" says:

    Thinking a bit more on this …

    4 or 5 DP’s would be awesome! You could have a world class/top class difference maker at all 4 levels or multiple difference makers at multiple levels similar to what the Pink Cows are doing with


    Imagine Upgrading Cooper and LeToux to …

    (DP)Cahill/(DP)Del Piero


    (DP)Henry/(DP)David Suazo
    (DP)Cahill/(DP)Celso Borges

  33. Luis F says:

    This is the approach that doomed the NASL. Smaller teams started spending more money, banking on higher revenues when teams like the Cosmos came to town. When the fans didn’t turn up in large-enough numbers, teams financially collapsed.

    Granted, a lot has changed since then. The TV money alone may make my point inapplicable today. But it’s worth mentioning.

  34. Vic says:

    What we’ve learned from DP’s is that many are over valued and many non-DP’s are undervalued. DP’s do help with marketing and attendance which is important and can benefit everyone.

  35. nic d "the TEXAS 2 stepper" says:

    I was just thinking in terms of a 5 Mil salary cap. Por ejemplo …

    a. NYRB is spending about 12 Mil
    b. the Cap is 2.8 Mil
    c. Their luxury tax would be %10 of the difference over the cap

    12.2 – 2.8 = 9.4 Mil

    so the franchise would pay 940K to all the other teams under the Cap

    I will call this the Fair “Play” Tax … lololol

  36. Lilitree says:

    My understanding is Fernandez’s DP status is based on his transfer fee. Any chance there is a way around that? His actual salary isn’t that much. He is an entertaining player both for some brilliant plays and some flabbergasting temper flare-ups.

  37. SteveE says:

    Sigi has been quoted today as saying they looked into it and it doesn’t look feasible to buy down a DP contract.

  38. MacComber says:

    Clearly a MLS conspiracy to aid New York and Los Angeles.

  39. Zack says:

    Montero is the best dribbler on the team, but he’s not particularly creative.

  40. dan says:


  41. euroman says:

    I laugh whenever I hear MLS & Rules in the same sentence. There are no stinking rules because that would get in the way of doing whatever the league want. A salary CAP of 2.8 million means nothing when 4 or 5 players make above that figure on their own….funny stuff to rest of the world.

  42. SteveE says:

    Flaco traded. He tweeted goodbye to Seattle fans. Mayers says inside MLS it sounds

  43. SteveE says:

    Chicago for allocation $. That is our two DPs we have traded, both going to Chicago now. Hmm. Weird.

  44. Vic El Paso texas says:

    Chicago can’t get no good fancy Dp, sad story.

  45. Will says:

    Tiffert is that playmaking #10 that Seattle has lacked since Lljunberg’s first season.

  46. Max says:

    Montero has been money ever since he joined the team…what are you smokin?

  47. San says:

    He is going to thrive with much better players around him

  48. Fred says:

    Seattle has also picked up a midfielder on loan from Real Espana.

  49. Tim F. says:

    “Seattle could have paid down Rosales’ salary figure to remove him from the DP slot.” I don’t understand what this means … can someone express this differently and tell me how this works?

    (SBI-Right now Rosales is a DP because of money he receives from marketing, not from his direct playing salary, and Seattle could pay down his overall compensation with allocation money, which could bring him to a total figure that would be less than a Designated Player. It’s complicated, but Seattle could have done that from what I have been told. Ultimately, the Sounders planned on dumping Fernandez all along.)

  50. b says:

    What are you smoking that you don’t see that Montero, despite his quality, makes teams worse when he plays? He’s like Zlatan, check Sweden’s record with and without him.

  51. b says:

    How is that funny to the rest of the world where there is no salary cap at all?

    The difference is there, you can see it in the results. Look at how static the Premier League, La Liga, etc. tables are compared to MLS, where the best teams this year include San Jose, DC, and Vancouver. Where were they last year? Okay then, go laugh at West Brom fans instead. Ha ha you follow a pointless team.

  52. b says:

    Dwayne De Rosario makes more than min-DP money yet is not a DP because of allocation money.

  53. ericJ says:

    I’ve watched every Sounders game since their inception. Montero makes this team BETTER when he plays..

  54. WileyJ says:


  55. Charles says:

    Pretty most of the rest of the world is either ignorant of MLS or jealous that all teams are relevant. It is only US bloggers that think like you post