The Sounders are working to finalize a loan deal to acquire goalkeeper Andrew Weber from Phoenix FC of the third-tier USL PRO. Weber, a backup for Seattle last season, was already in town training with the team Thursday.
Goalkeeping depth has become an issue as Marcus Hahnemann is out with a strained hamstring and Josh Ford is recovering from knee surgery. It was initially thought that Hahnemann would be out a week or two, but an MRI revealed it will more likely be three to four weeks.
The Sounders also considered bringing in Bryan Meredith, another back up from last season who played in Sweden this past season.
Here is a transcript of an interview we had with Weber:
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(How does it feel to be back?) “It’s good man. I’m happy to be back. It’s a good opportunity for me to train with the guys again and enjoy soccer.”
(A lot of the same faces are around, huh?) “Yeah, pretty much — for the most part — but there are some new faces out there. It’s good. I like being here.”
(Have you been in constant contact with the Sounders?) “I know (sporting director Chris Henderson) came down. At one point Seattle was going to make a partnership with Phoenix or something like that, and Hendo came down and said, ‘You look good. We’re watching you.’ Obviously with Marcus’s injury, it was something they felt like they wanted a bit of cover. They called and Phoenix and they came to an agreement and I’m here.”
(What was it like to help launch a franchise in your hometown?) “Loved it. It was great. Definitely some bumps and bruises, but the following was good. To be home and play in front of family and friends was fantastic. I loved it.”
(And being able to play with your twin brother?) “It was great having Elliot there, yeah. Unfortunately he got injured. He’s having surgery in the next couple weeks, so he’s been out. But it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity; to play soccer with Elliot was awesome.”
(Reports were that the past few weeks with the team had been a bit rocky. What do you make of things now?) “I think it’s fine. I think everyone wants the best for the team and what’s best for the team. I think everyone is on the same page. Again, first-year franchise with the bumps and bruises, everyone had their frustrations and everyone got beyond it, and it’s in the past and we’re all here. So everything is good.”
(So if you go back after this loan it will be OK?) “Yeah, everything is good. The team supports me being here and unfortunately we didn’t make the playoffs, but yeah, once I go back everything is good. Everything is really good.”
(What are you expectation for this loan? Hoping it becomes permanent?) “It’s up to them. The opportunity came and it’d be good to get back into a professional environment and back to the top and keep training and be around good goalkeeping. We’ll see what happens. Three weeks, four weeks, whatever they want me to be, I’m here and I’m here to help and here for the Sounders.”
(Notice the first game is against your other old club, San Jose…) “Yeah. Again, like I said, it’s a good opportunity for me to step in and give help where they need it, and hopefully we can get things turned around here and start winning games. I think we have some games in hand here, so it’s good. Everything is good.”
(Had you been looking for MLS opportunities this year?) “Yeah. I know at one point there was potential of other teams coming in, but it was good for me to go and get some games, and get some experience, get a lot of shots — I was getting a lot of shots there, so I had a lot of work to do. I always want to get back up. This is a good opportunity, so we’ll see.”