BY SPNW Staff 03:21PM 02/19/2013

Sounders Get Designated Player Shalrie Joseph

The Seattle Sounders FC Tuesday announced the acquisition of seven-time MLS All-Star Shalrie Joseph, a midfielder who will occupy a designated player slot for the franchise. The Sounders also acquired the No. 3 allocation ranking, a 2014 natural second-round SuperDraft pick and a 2015 natural second round SuperDraft pick from Chivas USA in exchange for Seattle’s No. 15 allocation ranking.

In addition to his seven All-Star designations, Joseph, 34, is a four-time MLS Best XI player and was a finalist for the 2009 MLS MVP. A 10-year MLS veteran, Joseph has made 273 appearances with 39 goals and 35 assists. He joined Chivas USA is a midseason trade last year after 10 seasons with the New England Revolution.

“We’re happy to add a player of Shalrie’s experience to our team,” said Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid. “He’s been to MLS Cups before in his tenure with New England. He’s a player that has proven himself to be a leader in game situations and a player of his quality can only help us be a better team as we move into this season.”

Schmid’s comments are a far cry from his remarks of Feb. 9, when he said he seriously doubted that Shalrie would be with the club this season.

“Obviously, it’s very evident that he hasn’t trained in a while, it’s evident that he’s very much behind physically as well,” Schmid said after a Sounders training session, as reported by The News Tribune. “He still needs improvements in that regard. You can see little sparks of what Shalrie has brought over the years – that’s why he was a Best XI player – but he’s still a ways away from that form.

“So having him here for a couple of days of training gave us a chance to evaluate him and see where he is, how far away he is from what we think is his top form, and he gets a chance to see where he’s at, because obviously Chivas didn’t have him train there, so he needed to measure himself. There were some good spots, but there’s also still a lot of growth and improvement for him, because he knows what kind of caliber of player he is and where he’s played at.”

Something obviously changed Schmid’s mind about the former member of the Grenada National Team, who twice was named Grenada’s Footballer of the Year (2003 and 2008) and was named the 2007 Caribbean Player of the Year. He has earned 20 caps with one goal in international play.

Joseph ranks ninth among active players with 273 games played, tied for 18th in goals scored (39) and tied for 12th in assists (35). In his last full season with the Revolution in 2011, he was named an MLS All-Star and recorded career highs in games played (32) and goals scored (eight).

A native of Saint George, Grenada, Joseph was selected by New England in the second round (14th overall) of the 2002 MLS SuperDraft, and joined the team the following year. He was first named to the MLS All-Star team in his sophomore campaign and earned Best XI honors in the 2005 season. Joseph became a mainstay in New England’s midfield and helped the club reach the MLS Cup final in three consecutive seasons from 2005-07.

Joseph will join the Sounders Wednesday in Tucson.


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