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Seattle Sounders Sign Striker Sammy Ochoa

The Sounders acquire the former US youth international through the league's allocation process, giving them a much-needed upgrade to their depth at forward.

(Image courtesy of <a href="http://www.soundersfc.com" target="new">SoundersFC.com</a>)
(Image courtesy of SoundersFC.com)

The Seattle Sounders have acquired forward Sammy Ochoa, trading a third-round pick in next year's MLS Super Draft to the Chicago for the Fire's place in the MLS Allocation Order. The 24-year-old Ochoa played under Sigi Schmid as a US U-20 international and spent a week on trial with the Sounders this June. Prior to signing with MLS, he spent his entire professional career with Mexican Primera club Estudiantes Tecos, scoring twice in 27 first-team appearances.

Ochoa has been without a club since the end of the 2011 Clausura so he is unlikely to be anywhere close to fully fit for quite some time. While the forward position has been frustratingly sub-par for Seattle this season, it's difficult to imagine Ochoa sliding into the regular starting rotation in the near future. Still, as a move with an eye toward the future that can still be helpful to the team this season it's hard to find a great deal of fault, especially when considering what the Sounders gave up to bring him to Seattle.

Described by coach Sigi Schmid as "a good back-to-goal player and a good finisher around the box," Ochoa possess two qualities that the Sounders desperately need in a forward. At a well-built 6'0", Ochoa also seems equipped to mix it up with physical center backs and give Seattle another target on set-pieces. He's not the big, flashy signing a lot of fans were hoping for, but he's a good young player at a fairly low salary that will give the team some flexibility next season.