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Sounders sign 1st UEFA Champions League winner

Post by Don Ruiz / The News Tribune on Feb. 23, 2013 at 1:54 pm with No Comments »
February 23, 2013 1:55 pm

Here’s what coach Sigi Schmid had to say yesterday when asked about the possible signing of defender Djimi Traore:

“Yeah, I think we’re close on that. Definitely…Hopefully there will be something early next week that we have, but I feel pretty positive about that one.”

It turns out the signing beat even Sigi’s expectation. Here’s the news from the club:

Seattle Sounders FC has signed defender Djimi Traore, the club announced today. Traore will be added to the roster pending receipt of his P-I Visa and International Transfer Clearance. Per Major League Soccer and club policy, terms were not disclosed.

Traore, 32, played professionally for 16 years in Europe, including seven seasons for English Premier League side Liverpool. Traore becomes the first UEFA Champions League winner to join Sounders FC, beating Milan in a penalty shootout in the 2005 final. He most recently played for Marseille in France, making 11 appearances from 2011-12 and winning the 2012 Coupe de la Ligue title.

“Djimi has a great deal of experience and has played in the top leagues in Europe,” said Sounders FC Sporting Director Chris Henderson. “He’s a very good defender and makes smart decisions with the ball coming out the back.Djimi brings us confidence and leadership in the back.”

Traore began his career for Laval of France in 1996. After three seasons, he signed with Liverpool where he played from 1999-2006. Traore made 150 appearances across all competitions for Liverpool, including 88 in the English Premier League. He was the first Malian player to win the UEFA Champions League, and he also won the 2006 FA Cup, 2005 Super League and the 2003 English League Cup.

Following his stint with Liverpool, Traore joined Charlton Athletic of England’s league championship from 2006-07 and signed with Portsmouth in 2007, winning the 2008 FA Cup. He has been capped 10 times by Mali, scoring one goal.

Sounders FC hosts the Montreal Impact in the season opener on Saturday, March 2. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. PT on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field.

Transaction: Seattle Sounders FC (MLS) – Signed DEF Djimi Traore

Djimi Traore
Position: Defender
Height: 6-3
Weight: 191
Birthdate: 3/01/1980
Hometown (Citizenship): Paris, France (Mali)
Pronunciation: jimmy try-OR-ay

Previous Clubs: Laval (France, 1996-99), Liverpool (England, 1999-2006), Lens (On loan, France, 2001-02), Charlton Athletic (England, 2006-07), Portsmouth (England, 2007-09), Rennes (On loan, France, 2008), Birmingham City (On loan, England, 2009), AS Monaco (France, 2009-11), Marseille (France, 2011-12).

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