Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sounders sign German midfielder Christian Tiffert, trade Alvaro Fernandez to the Chicago Fire

By Money Mike

The MLS summer transfer window officially closed today and normally during this period the Seattle Sounders would not make any moves, but not this time. Earlier today, the Sounders made a couple of big moves as they signed German midfielder Christian Tiffert to a DP contract. MLS clubs are allowed only three Designated Players and the prior to the deal, Seattle's three DP's were Fredy Montero, Alvaro Fernandez and Mauro Rosales. To free up that last DP slot, the Seattle Sounders traded Alvaro Fernandez to the Chicago Fire for Allocation Money. Remember Fernandez was originally linked with a loan move to Fredy Montero's former Colombian club Deportivo Cali, but that deal eventually fell through. That looked to be the only move they made, but it appears that 22 year old Honduran international Mario Martinez has signed with the Sounders on loan from Real Espana, but that deal hasn't been confirmed yet. Martinez is currently with the Honduran national team in London for the 2012 Olympics.

When I got up earlier in the morning, I read on Seattle Times that the Sounders reportedly signed Christian Tiffert as a Designated Player which was confirmed at that time by his club 1. FC Kaiserslautern and his agent. Since then I've been keeping track of all the reports regarding this. What the Sounders would do to free up a DP slot. Then about 12:30, the Sounders say the deal wasn't officially done yet which almost makes you wonder if the deal would ever be completed. Then about 1:45, I read a tweet that stated that there was a big trade to announce and it apparently involved the Sounders as they traded Fernandez to Chicago. The former German under-21 international is a talented player, very good on the ball, but he's coming off a disappointing season. Obviously it wasn't just him, 1. FC Kaiserslautern absolutely sucked last season which saw them Relegated from the German Bundesliga.

Alvaro Fernandez has left the team after making 55 league appearances for the Rave Green and scoring 13 goals. When Fernandez joined the team in late July 2010 following the trade of Freddie Ljungberg, Fernandez was almost an unknown because at the start of his career, he's been traveling everywhere looking for a club. I mean, he spent time with seven clubs in his first five seasons of his career and following the World Cup there was a report saying that the Sounders were gonna sign Fernandez and following the Ljungberg trade, the Sounders used a DP tag on him. He didn't get that much playing time late in 2010 however because the Sounders still had a young kid named Sanna Nyassi. In 2011, Fernandez started the first two games but then he was dropped to the bench and a lot of us were beginning to think that his guy is useless, but then we lost Zakuani to a major injury, Fernandez stepped in and scored nine goals which is his career best. 2012, has been a rough year for Flaco, but he did score in his last two matches. Fernandez finishes his Sounders career with two U.S. Open Cup titles in his resume.

I think the Sounders front office did a great job today. Tiffert is a guy who brings leadership to this team, much like Mauro Rosales, considering he was the team captain over at 1. FC Kaiserslautern. Fernandez will be missed in Seattle for sure, but with Zakuani close to 100% and the struggles that Fernandez has gone through, I think the move had to be made.

No comments:

Post a Comment