Veteran MLS midfielder Shalrie Joseph trained with the Sounders this morning. He is under contract to Chivas USA, however, so coach Sigi Schmid and Joseph stressed that it isn’t a done deal that he will remain.
“He’s still property of Chivas,” Schmid said. “We have permission to look at him, so we’re looking at him.”
Schmid wouldn’t say if the Sounders and Chivas are in trade talks.
“He’s always been a quality player, he’s been involved on good teams,” Schmid said. “I though he was a main cog in (the New England Revolution) team that got to MLS Cup for a lot of years. He’s a guy who talks a lot on the field and helps direct younger players. There are a lot of positives to him. But also we’re a team that’s cap constrained, and there’s a lot of things to work out.”
Joseph worked at center mid today, but said he is open to midfield or defense. He said he knew he wouldn’t fit in with the new coach and philosophy as Chivas, and that Seattle was at the top of is list of places he would hope to continue his career.
He granted, however, that finances could be among the sticking points to him actually ever wearing a Sounders uniform.
“I’m sure there are a couple of obstacles,” he said. “Financially it might be hard for them. There’s a cap for each team. Hopefully they can make it work. Like I said, this is the first organization I picked out of the hat that I wanted to be a part of. Hopefully it will work out in the next couple of weeks and they get me out here and hopefully I’ll be wearing a Sounders’ uniform.”
Joseph, 34, was born in Grenada and has 20 appearances with the national team. New England made him the 14th overall selection of the 2002 SuperDraft. He is a seven-time all-star and four-time MLS Best XI honoree. He became a designated player in 2012.
Last season he made 18 appearances with the Revs and 12 with Chivas, combining for three goals and four assists. In MLS, he has 39 career goals and 25 assists.
Here is more of what Joseph had to say today:
On training today) It just feels good to be on grass and to be running around and playing soccer. … Great. They opened arms. They tell me what the system is like, they tell me what Sigi is like, what the coaches expected. … It feels great having guys trying to teach you, trying to tell you and trying to help you. That is the kind of team I want to be around.
On his time with Chivas) It’s been a frustrating couple of two weeks in LA. Now I’m just here and enjoying getting back to playing again. It feels good to train with some guys who actually appreciate what I can bring to a team. For me it’s just a step to get out there, kick the ball around, just get back to what I love doing, just playing soccer. … I’m getting a great opportunity to come train with some good guys on a great organization, and that’s what I’m doing right now.
On Day Two (at Chivas) I realized this might not by the place for me. And after speaking to the coach I knew it definitely wasn’t the place for me, and it was on to what I can do next for my career. I talked to my agent and he asked me where I would like to go, and this was the first team that I picked out of the hat that I wanted to play for. I know the organization, I know the coaches, I know some of the players and I think they have a winning organization, and I think I could be a great part of this if I get the opportunity. I wanted to come here and train and see what it’s like.
On his role with the Sounders) I just want to play. As long as I’m on the 11 and get and opportunity to play and get an opportunity to contribute to a team, it doesn’t matter a position for me. They’ll figure that out once I get out there and play and perform in practice. The coaching staff will figure out where they can use me best.
On obstacles to joining the club) Hopefully they can make it work. Like I said, this is one of the first organizations I picked out of the hat that I want to be a part of. Hopefully it will work out in the next couple of weeks and they get me out here and hopefully I’ll be wearing a Sounders uniform.
Meanwhile, Eddie Johnson, Brad Evans, Mario Martinez and Adam Johansson all are back from international duty and will begin working their way back into Sounders training tomorrow. Johnson was already at Starfire and worked in the weight room today.
“I think it was good for me and Brad, to get a head start to a very important year this year,” Johnson said. “We’re looking forward to doing good things here in Seattle. It says a lot about how our season went last year to be involved with the national team. Anytime you get called to play with your country it’s a privilege and it’s an honor. I thought it was good for me and Brad, being two guys here that are important to the club to go get that experience and take that experience back from there and bring it here to Seattle here with the Sounders.”