[MLS SPOTLIGHT]In MLS terms, this was a giveaway if there ever was one. Chivas USA traded Shalrie Joseph, whom it desperately looked to unload, and threw in all kinds of other goodies to get Seattle to take the four-time Best XI selection. But the deal means that the Sounders have maxed out their allotment of Designated Players at three and probably won't be signing Argentine star Javier Saviola, whose impending arrival as a free agent following his season with Spanish club Malaga Sounders GM Adrian Hanauerdownplayed.
Joseph had been left in limbo as Chivas USA made it clear it did not want Joseph in its makeover and would do anything to dump the Designated Player.
It did just that, also giving Seattle these goodies to get Joseph off its books:
-- its No. 3 allocation ranking;
-- second-round SuperDraft pick in 2014;
-- second-round SuperDraft pick in 2015;
-- money to pay for part of Joseph's salary-cap charge;
And Chivas got from Seattle: the No. 15 allocation ranking.
Joseph, 34, is a 10-year MLS veteran with 39 goals and 35 assists in 273 appearances. He joined Chivas USA is a midseason trade last year after 10 seasons with the New England Revolution.
Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer said he was happy with the deal even it means the Sounders now have three Designated Players.
"We realize that gives us three designated players, between Mauro [Rosales], Christian [Tiffert] and Shalrie," he told reporters in a conference call, "but we also have two weeks left, and we still have the ability to buy a player out — if we decide to do that — to open up a slot for a regular-salaried player or a designated-player slot."
The No. 3 allocation is the big prize in the goody bag the Sounders got from Chivas USA.
"I guess it’s a little bit of an announcement to national-team players around the world or players who have left our league by being sold out of the league that the Sounders are third in line," said Hanauer. "And I imagine there are some players out there who would like to come play for the Sounders. Maybe the timing is such that when we’re first, there is a big important player who we can bring to our team.”
The Argentine media had been reporting that the 31-year-old Saviola, once dubbed the new Argentine great at Barcelona before Lionel Messi took that tag, would be joining the Sounders in the summer.
"Saviola is a fantastic player," Hanauer said. "We rate him very highly. I believe he was discovered by another team in our league. There are a lot of great players out there who we’d love to have on our team, but at this time there are no conversations and no progress directionally towards Saviola playing for the Sounders.”