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Originally published February 23, 2012 at 7:33 PM | Page modified February 24, 2012 at 7:59 PM

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Schmid: No rush to name captain | Sounders FC

Citing the need for a group of leaders, Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid isn't placing much significance on naming a new team captain.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Rosales The levelist head on the pitch with a game and effort that demands respect ... MORE
Oh and don't believe for one second this doesn't matter to Sigi. If it didn't... MORE
Well said Steve. He has earned the respect of players and officials league wide. MORE

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What's in a coin flip?

For some Sounders FC fans last week, it was about more than just heads or tails. When the team posted a picture online of midfielder Mauro Rosales representing Seattle during the pregame ritual, many wondered if that meant Rosales would be the team's captain this year.

Not necessarily, it turns out. And midfielder Brad Evans handled the coin flip in a previous exhibition game.

Coach Sigi Schmid has yet to name a captain after the retirement of Kasey Keller, who held the title for three years. While many fans eagerly await the decision, Schmid isn't placing much significance on it.

"I'm hoping we have more than one captain in the sense that I think we need a number of players to lead," the coach said. "I think Kasey returning home to Seattle was a very unique situation.

"In my history with teams going all the way back to UCLA, the captain is important, but I guess I don't approach the captaincy with the drum roll, the hoopla and the fanfare that some people (do). Hopefully our captain is the guy who goes for the coin flip and wears the armband, but is part of a group of many leaders on the field. That's what I'm looking for."

Schmid said Rosales is included in that group. Evans, too. The coach also added forward Fredy Montero, defender Jeff Parke and midfielder Osvaldo Alonso to that core of leadership.

Evans and Montero wore the captain's armband at times last season when Keller didn't play, mostly in CONCACAF Champions League games.

What about injured White?

O'Brian White has continued a complicated and uncertain recovery from recurring blood clots in his left leg. The 26-year-old underwent surgery twice last year, and indications are that he won't soon rejoin the team in training.

The tricky part is that White's six-figure salary is already guaranteed for 2012. He made $100,000 last year and would likely be due more this season.

One option for the Sounders is to buy out White's contract before the start of the MLS season, which would prevent his salary from counting against the team's $2.81 million cap. Teams are permitted to buy out one guaranteed contract per year; Seattle used the mechanism before last season with designated player Blaise Nkufo.

In the case of a buyout, the Sounders would retain right of first refusal on White and thus could match any contract offer other MLS teams might make, however unlikely. White would then be able to continue his recovery efforts with the team in hopes of returning to action next year.

Seattle continues to seek medical opinions on White, and the forward is still undergoing tests. If he shows progress soon, the Sounders could put White on the disabled list with hopes of bringing him back sometime this season.

Note

• The Sounders returned home Thursday night after nearly two weeks away in Florida and Mexico. The team is expected to take a couple of days off before returning to practice Sunday.

Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or jmayers@seattletimes.com.

On Twitter @joshuamayers

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