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Kasey Keller, Blaise Nkufo Won't Be Back With Sounders Next Year, Says Sigi Schmid

This season will be forward Blaise Nkufo's last with the Seattle Sounders, head coach Sigi Schmid said on Wednesday (via Joshua Mayers from The Seattle Times). Nkufo joined the team after playing with FC Twente, taking the Sounders' second designated player spot during the 2009 season. As a target forward, Nkufo assimilated well with the team as the season wore on, becoming a key part in the Sounders late run into the playoffs.

In addition to Nkufo, this season will be goalkeeper Kasey Keller's last with the team. Keller, who signed a contract extension prior to training camp this year, has been nearing the end of his career, but chose to finish it out in Seattle. With Terry Boss as the reserve goalkeeper, and Josh Ford and Bryan Meredith battling for the third spot, the Sounders have been looking for replacements in the event of Keller's inevitable retirement.

With Nkufo leaving the Sounders will have an open designated player spot following the season to do with what they please. Currently, Fredy Montero, Nkufo and Alvaro Fernandez are under contract as designated players, the maximum allowed in MLS.

For more on the Sounders, check out SB Nation's Sounder At Heart.