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Sunday, March 27, 2005 - Page updated at 12:00 a.m.

Sounders

Defender Jackson to remain a Sounder

Special to The Seattle Times

Bad news for Danny Jackson was good news for the Seattle Sounders.

Jackson, the Sounders' top defender for two seasons, didn't make the final cut with the Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer, and that means he'll be back with the Sounders for a third season.

The 25-year-old native of England and backbone of the Sounders' defense traveled to Costa Rica this past week with the Wizards during a second preseason tryout with the MLS club.

Coincidentally, Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer was in Costa Rica searching first-division squads for talent to join his team, which plays in the United Soccer Leagues (USL) First Division, formerly the A-League.

Although Hanauer appreciates when Sounders players develop and advance to MLS, like Brian Ching and Leighton O'Brien did recently, he was relieved to have back a player of Jackson's caliber.

"Danny's a leader on the field and he's the anchor of the defense," Hanauer said. "It's critical to have him back. I was starting to scramble to find someone to replace him. I'm absolutely thrilled to have Danny back."

Jackson was voted an A-League first-team All-Star in 2003 with Seattle despite having an ACL injury cut his season short.

Last season, in a vote of Sounders fans, he was named defensive player of the year.

Jackson last reached MLS in 2002 when he played 15 minutes for the Colorado Rapids.

Because of his English citizenship and age, Jackson would have filled one of the maximum four spots reserved for senior international players on MLS squads.

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"I do think that's what kept him from making that team," Hanauer said of Kansas City choosing not to keep Jackson on their roster.

The Sounders' roster is beginning to take shape with 12 players signed for the 2005 season. Seattle begins training camp Friday at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila. The Sounders are currently hosting invitational tryouts.

Two players — 19-year-old Franklin Chacon and veteran Marvin Chinchilla — who Hanauer discovered on his trip to Costa Rica are taking part in tryouts now. Chacon, a forward, played on the Costa Rican U-20 team Club Sport Herediano and Chinchilla played for Costa Rican club Liberia.

"I have some good contacts now in Costa Rica, and I've nurtured those contacts," Hanauer said. "There's a lot of good players in the Costa Rican first division. Their level of play is slightly higher than MLS."

Note

• Hanauer clarified the compensation the Sounders will receive from Real Salt Lake, the expansion MLS team, for signing O'Brien.

Hanauer says the Sounders get an exhibition game on May 11 with Real Salt Lake and the proceeds from the "friendly." He said that if economic goals from the game aren't met this season, then Real Salt Lake would provide another "friendly" in 2006.

Should the first exhibition be deemed "an unbelievable success," the Sounders would share some of the revenue with Salt Lake.

In addition, the Sounders also receive "a very small amount of cash compensation."

Copyright © 2005 The Seattle Times Company

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