Updated Feb 23, 2013 - 2:53 pm
Seattle Sounders FC and DP Christian Tiffert to Part Company
The Sounders acquired midfielder Christian Tiffert after more than 280 appearances in Bundesliga on July 27, 2012. As recently as the 2010-2011 season in Germany, he led the league with 11 assists and notched two goals in 32 starts.
Based on those lofty credentials, Seattle applied the designated player tag to Tiffert. At the time of the signing, head coach Sigi Schmid lauded his newest acquisition.
"Christian is a player who fits this mold and brings a lot of experience from the top league in Germany," Schmid said. "His leadership and versatility make him a good fit for our club."
During his half-season in Seattle, he tallied four assists in 16 MLS appearances. This lack of production may have sealed his fate for the upcoming season. Tiffert is not training with the Sounders in Arizona.
In the meantime, Seattle obtained MLS veteran Shalrie Joseph and named him as the team's third designated player. According to general manager Adrian Hanauer, this was the only way to get the deal done.
With the departure of Fredy Montero to Colombia earlier this year, the Sounders were expected to utilize his DP slot for a striker.
Schmid and Hanauer are non-committal about Tiffert's status with the team.
"There are things that are being discussed in regards to Christian, and part of that is really a better question for Adrian [Hanauer] as to where that is," Schmid said on Friday. "He's not with us right now. He's training on his own there. He seems to be doing all right with the things that were bothering him at times. But now it's gone into maybe another phase that Adrian can address better than I."
"We realize that gives us three designated players between Mauro [Rosales], Christian [Tiffert) and Shalrie, but we also have two weeks left and we still have the ability to buy a player out if we decide to do that to open up a slot for a regular-salaried player or a designated player slot if that were something we decided to do," Hanauer said after the Sounders acquired Joseph on Feb. 19.
By parting company with Tiffert, the door is once again open to replace Montero with a big-name signing.
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