SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 27: Mauro Rosales #10 and Lamar Neagle #27 of the Seattle Sounders FC celebrate after Rosales scored a goal on a penalty kick during the first half of the game against the Columbus Crew at CenturyLink Field on August 27, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Chane in resident status gives Sounders additional roster flexibility; club believes another player is close to attaining a green card as well.
One of the big stories out of Sounders training camp today is news that Sounders midfielder Mauro Rosales has acquired a green card. That brings the number of international players on the Sounders roster to 7, with MLS rules limiting teams to 8. Head coach Sigi Schmid also stated that another player is "fairly close." Though Schmid does not mention the player the team believes may be close to acquiring a green card, Alvaro Fernandez seems a decent bet. There has been talk that Fernandez was pursuing permanent residence in the past, and with the close of the European transfer window speculation that Fernandez might be moving to Spain's La Liga has been momentarily put to rest.
Teams may trade for extra international slots, but Schmid says that doing so is "something that we don't feel we need to do right now at the moment." Depending on how things progress over the rest of the off-season, that could easily change. The Sounders have numerous non-roster invitees that, were they to end up making the team, would qualify as international players. Included in that list are Supplemental Draft pick Jason Banton and Honduran trialists Ever Alvarado and Harlinton Gutierrez (both of whom are subject to discovery claims by the team,) all players expected to be in serious contention for a place on the roster.