[MLS TRANSACTIONS]The Seattle Sounders announced last week that they had retained Sigi Schmid, their only coach in their five-history, so it was only natural that they've moved to keep two starters who have been with the team since their launch in 2009. Captain Osvaldo Alonso was signed to a Designated Player contract while Brad Evans was re-signed to a multi-year contract.
Alonso, who leads the Sounders in games played (139), is a three-time MLS All-Star and was named Sounders MVP for four consecutive seasons.
"Ozzie is a key building block for our club," Sounders owner and general manager Adrian Hanauer in a statement, "and we are happy to sign him to a long-term contract extension."
The 28-year-old Alonso's designation as a Designated Player means that one of the three current Designated Players -- Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins or Mauro Rosales -- will have to have his contract re-written or be traded. That will in all likelihood be Rosales, who was not a DP when he originally signed with the team in 2011.
That also means that Eddie Johnson, who has asked to have his contract renegotiated, will either have to accept something less than a Designated Player contract or be traded to a team that will give him one. Rumors have persisted in the last week that the latter will happen.
Evans, also 28, ranks third in club history in games played (112). He earned a starting spot on the U.S. national team at right back in 2013, though he usually plays in midfield for the Sounders.
"Re-signing Brad was a major priority for us," said Hanauer. "He has become a leader in the locker room and is a versatile player on the field. Brad exhibits the commitment, values and spirit of playing for the Sounders FC badge."