There aren’t a lot of guaranteed contracts in MLS. That means there can be a lot of turnover for a team in the offseason, and that’s certainly a possibility for Sounders FC.
Some of the key players believed to be currently out of contract or entering a team-held option for 2014: Brad Evans, Steve Zakuani, Mauro Rosales, Eddie Johnson, Marcus Hahnemann and Michael Gspurning.
Contract details aren’t made public or easily available, so call it a best guess, but most players on the roster generally are at the mercy of having their options exercised.
In the visitors’ locker room Thursday, I asked a couple of the players mentioned above if they’re looking to come back next year.
“Yeah, of course,” Evans told me, and we know he’s out of contract. “I would love to continue to my career in Seattle. Hopefully things work out and we get something settled. I’m looking forward to being here next year, and hopefully that’s the case. Right now it’s more focusing on this group of guys and what happened tonight. We’ll try to pick ourselves up by the bootstraps and carry on. Obviously this is a place that I love dearly. I think every time I play, I play for the crest — not for myself, for my team most importantly.”
Gspurning also told me his contract is up, like a few other on the team, and that it’s too early to talk about that who will be coming back. I still asked him if he wanted to, especially considering the state of the position the past few weeks.
“I’ve loved being here for two years, and that says everything,” he said. “You never know in soccer. Of course, I have a great relationship with the fans, and I’m so thankful to have this. I know that it’s a great place to be.”
I wasn’t able to talk to Johnson or Rosales after the game, but Johnson told The News Tribune recently: “I’m happy here. These last two years (have been) the happiest in a very long time. … This is where I want to be at.”
Rosales had talked to me last month about wanting to come back: “Of course. I want to stay in the country and in MLS for a few more years, yeah. I wish I can stay here. We will see.”
Zakuani struggled with his recovery from sports hernia surgery to end the year, but a lot of updates along the way indicated he would be back. Certainly his dealing with injury would seem to make it harder to go someplace else having missed most of the past three seasons.
Lastly, regarding Hahnemann, he told me after the game he hadn’t decided if he was coming back yet.
I’ll get to more from the 41 year old in a separate post, but he noted: “I need to decide quickly.”