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Sounders begin housecleaning
by Paul Kennedy, December 10th, 2013 12:10AM
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TAGS:  mls, seattle sounders


[MLS TRANSACTIONS] Within 48 hours of the end of the 2013 MLS season, the process of getting to work on 2014 got serious. Perhaps the biggest moves came at Seattle, where the Sounders didn't pick up the options of Mauro Rosales, Steve Zakuani, Michael Gspurning and Marc Burch, among others.

Rosales was the MLS Newcomer of the Year in 2011 and rewarded with a Designated Player contract in 2012. But the Argentine battled injuries the last two seasons and saw his playing time diminished this season.

Rosales, Zakuani, the No. 1 pick in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft, Burch, as well as Josh Ford and Blair Gaven all will enter Thursday's Re-Entry Draft, though the Sounders could always work on re-signing them to new contracts (for lower salaries).

Gspurning was the finalist for MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in 2012, his first season in MLS, but the Austrian gave up some very bad goals late in the 2013 season that coincided with the Sounders' downward spiral.

With the signing of Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey to big contracts in 2013, the Sounders face serious salary cap issues and management admitted as soon as the playoffs ended that moves would have to be made.

One player rumored to be on the way out is U.S. national team forward Eddie Johnson, who has asked for a raise.

CHICAGO. New Chicago boss Frank Yallop has moved quickly to clean the Fire house. Nine Fire players are in Thursday's Re-Entry Draft, including captain Logan Pause, Chris Rolfe and Joel Lindpere, all starters. Yallop said in a statement the club was actively speaking with several players about new deals. “We hope to reach agreement with some of them over the next two weeks," he said, "and will announce as those deals are reached."

COLUMBUS. Columbus re-signed forward Dominic Odurom who scored a career-high 13 goals and matched a career-high four assists in his first season with the Crew in 2013.

FC DALLAS. Dallas announced that it failed to reach an agreement with Kenny Cooper, who scored 40 goals in his his first stint in Dallas (2006-09) but scored only six goals in 2013, on a new contract. Cooper, who came from New York as a part of its cost-cutting measures after the 2012 season, will enter the Re-Entry Process.
-- Dallas finally signed 2013 SuperDraft pick Ryan Hollingshead out of UCLA after he spent the year doing community work in Sacramento, Calif.

PORTLAND. The Portland Timbers picked up the 2014 contract options on nine players, including Best XI midfielder Will Johnson, to bring the number of players under contract for 2014 to 21. They have extended bona fide offers or are in contract discussions with six other players, including Jamaican Ryan Johnson and Frederic Piquionne, who shared the starting job at center forward in the playoffs.

TORONTO FC. The first offseason trade sent Brazilian midfielder Jackson from FC Dallas to Toronto FC in exchange for a conditional second-round pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft and allocation money. Toronto FC GM Tim Bezbatchenko noted Jackson's versatility in his four seasons with Dallas a key reason to acquire him.

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