Sounders free up designated player slot after signing Joseph to new contract

ShalrieJoseph (USA Today)


With just one week to go before the MLS transfer window slams shut, the Seattle Sounders have set themselves up to sign a new key player for a potential playoff run.

The Sounders announced Thursday afternoon that they and midfielder Shalrie Joseph had agreed to a new contract. Joseph will no longer be a designated player for Seattle, who acquired the 35-year-old Grenadian international in February from Chivas USA.

Joseph’s new contract will free up a coveted designated player slot for the Sounders’ roster, but the club will have to act fast—the summer transfer window closes a week from Friday. As a result of this move, Obafemi Martins and Mauro Rosales are currently the only two designated players for Seattle.

The eight-time All-Star has started four of his seven appearances for Seattle as a pair of injuries have stunted his playing time for the club. He last played in the Sounders’ 2-0 loss last month to the Vancouver Whitecaps.

What do you think of this news? Who do you see the Sounders going after as a potential designated player? Think a new signing would push Seattle to a playoff run?

Share your thoughts below.

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65 Responses to Sounders free up designated player slot after signing Joseph to new contract

  1. Charles says:

    Ozzie or a midfielder ?

    • Josh D says:

      Call me jaded, but this transfer period was such a let down. After Lampard, Kaka, Drogba, Park, etc rumors, we got nothing.

  2. Steevens says:

    My guess, they already are negotiating with a midfielder. Hopefully someone of a similar caliber/quality as Martins.

  3. Travis says:

    Late move but I can’t help but think the only reason to make it is if they have a move in mind. Should be interesting to see what happens.

  4. Yuppee says:

    Clint Dempsey – Done Deal

    • Steevens says:

      You can’t post “Done Deal” without a link or reference or something. Not on this site…..

      • Yuppee says:

        It’s only a matter of time and the news will catch up.

        • Steevens says:

          So you’re claiming to have inside information? or you are buying into the Twitter rumors?

          • Yuppee says:

            Don’t cannibalize a good source, as my mum always told me.

            • Steevens says:

              I’m just trying to determine if the source is good in the first place. Regardless of what your mum told you (no disrespect).

              I’m a Sounders fan who is freaking out about this potentially great move!

              Wouldn’t Seattle have needed to deal with Portland for the top allocation spot?

    • johnnycougar says:

      Haha! When Dempsey said he wanted to play for a Champions League squad, he actually meant the CONCACAF CL. Love it!

    • MMV says:

      You are an indiot. Quit while you are ahead. For one, Dempsey couldn’t just sign with Seattle. He would have to sign with the league and then go through an Allocation. Seattle sit third on the allocation list behind TFC and Portland, last time I checked. There would have to be some major, major, major wheeling and dealing for Seattle to move up. If you think their rival Portland or TFC would be an part of that, think again. It would take the biggest blockbuster of trades and money exchanges in history of the league to pull this off. Dempsey to Seattle is not happening and please quit spitting out completely B.S. info.

      • Yuppee says:

        You have no idea how the league truly works. Nice try mate. Keep up the hostility!

        • EspinDOHla says:

          Sorry MMV, Yuppee is correct.

          I have no clue (like everyone else) about whether Dempsey is coming to MLS. However, if he wanted to come back and play in Seattle, do you really think the league would refuse the CAPTAIN of the USMNT because he didn’t want to go to TFC or Portland? If Dempsey comes, he will choose where he wants to go and MLS will make it happen.

      • Edwin in LA says:

        Not if they give him a DP contract….I believe Ives has said before that for DPs is really more about the whole discovery thing….as long as another team hasn’t gone after him before…..Seattle should be able to sign him if they are giving DP money and contract for which they do have to shell out what is it 250K for that 3rd DP to be divided by all the teams in MLS that don’t have 3 DPs?

      • doug says:

        My dad just saw Clint Depmsey flying first class on a flight from London to SFO. Hope its not true. He should stay in Europe.

    • Josh D says:

      Someone did supposedly snag a pic of him on a flight to Seattle.

  5. standard says:

    am i correct in assuming Ozzie doesnt count against the cap because he is a political refugee? i know Movsisyan didnt count against RSL when he was with them. If so there would be no need to give him a DP, he doesnt count against the cap.

    • Seattle Coug says:

      You are incorrect as far as I’ve seen, Ozzie does count against the cap. I think you’re confusing international slots and cap hit; he does not count as an international.

    • Edwin in LA says:

      Well to add to what Seattle Coug said…..Ozzie is now a US citizen so he would not count for an International Slot

  6. Dr. Truth says:

    good move for Seattle, and too bad about Chen to Malaga.

  7. SoundersFan says:

    Let’s hope they have someone in mind, but if not, I think it was the right move to remove the DP label, he is no DP for the sounders or any MLS team.

  8. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Generally, Seattle has been smart in their moves, even when they didn’t workout. But Joseph as a DP didn’t make sense in terms of age and the fact that already had Ozzie there.

    • Steevens says:

      Getting Joseph from Chivas was a great idea, when you consider that Chivas is paying most of his salary. I did stink that he occupied a DP slot, but now Seattle resolved the only bad part of that deal.

      • Tony in Quakeland says:

        Getting Joseph is always a good idea. I once proposed annexing Grenda so we could add him to our national team. But the time for him as a DP has past

  9. kmac014 says:

    Seems like the pieces are adding up for Dempsey to Seattle

    • Yuppee says:

      The GM said very recently they were looking to make some signings before the end of the transfer window.

  10. Scott e Dio93 says:

    Dempsey coming back to MLS : Dempsey’s biggest mistake, at this moment.

  11. Travis says:

    Not sure why everyone is putting so much stock into twitter rumors, would be shocked to see Dempsey come back to MLS at this poine

    • johnnycougar says:

      As a USMNT fan first and a Sounders fan second, I would be pi$$ed if Dempsey moved to Seattle.

      • Travis says:

        I actually dont think he would fit well unless they plan to start using a 4-3-3. Seattle needs more traditional wingers right now for their 4-4-2, not a midfield/forward hybrid.

        • johnnycougar says:

          This is also true. Though maybe EJ would be up for moving to the wing (either in 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 as a forward) to accommodate playing with Deuce.

      • Reg says:

        You are not a Sounders fan…

    • Victor says:

      Keith Costigan from Fox Soccer reported it so, I think that’d be pretty reliable by saying Seattle is interested.

  12. BAJ says:

    If there is any truth to the Dempsey rumors. Starting for Seattle > Sitting on the Bench for Tottenham. If he knows he is not in the coaches plans then why not go home to the States?

  13. McQ says:

    There is no way Clint Dempsey is coming to MLS. Why would he? there are dozens of European clubs that would line up for his services and pay more than MLS. Now the Cosmos are a different story!

    • Northzax says:

      Pay more? I doubt it. I bet the sounders would throw 5+ million at him. But spurs aren’t letting him go for free, not when other clubs will pay.

    • Pingunça says:

      “There is no way Clint Dempsey is coming to MLS”

      I wish Simon Borg would say something like that.. Then at least we’d have a signal and it surely would turn out to be true

  14. Neruda says:

    Seattle goes through DPs like tp. They have resources to get them, try them out and toss em if they stink. This Dempsey thing is crazy because he must have changed his mind on MLS if there’s any truth to it. His last experience with the league left a bitter taste in his mouth.

    • Travis says:

      While your criticism of Seattles DP policy is fair for the most part, calling them out on the Joseph thing is not really accurate. Pretty much everyone knew Joseph wasn’t good enough to be a DP and that they were just taking him on to move up in the allocation order and for a pick.

  15. El Paso tx says:

    Drogba or ronaldinho or robinho……… Kaka or Forlan.

  16. David says:

    Sigi’s refusal to deny the Dempsey rumor is feeding it. Sigi tells Softy “nothing nailed down or concrete” regarding Clint Dempsey

  17. baropbop says:

    With all the resources they have and the money they make it’s time for seattle to sign a Beckham level deal. If the league is going to progress the top teams need to spend big. la has Keane. Ny has henry. Seattle has martins? Time to step it up seattle

  18. Miki says:

    Dempsey spotted at SFO terminal on flight headed to Seattle.

    link to

  19. John says:

    So, Dempsey was in Hong Kong playing the other day with Spurs, and they have another preseason match in Monaco on the 3rd or 4th. Why was Clint in San Fran? Seems a bit out of the way, especially since the rest of Spurs headed back to Europe. I doubt there is anything to it…just find the travel plans interesting.

  20. dan says:


    Dempsey is flying to probably talk to Everton or another team on tour in USA. You are off your ass if you think he is coming back to MLS

    • petedx says:

      So all this time he’s been saying he wants to play champions league football. I don’t think he had concacaf champions league in mind. (yes I know seattle is not even in that)

    • Travis says:

      ha you got us, flounders, never heard that one before. hilarious

  21. John says:

    I agree with you, Dan. I think it is Everton, which would be great for Clint IMO.