Looks like Sounders will buy out DP Christian Tiffert
The Sounders play Mexico's Veracruz in a preseason exhibition Friday, but there were more indications Seattle could soon part ways with midfielder Christian Tiffert.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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With the MLS season a week away, it looks increasingly likely that Sounders FC will soon part ways with designated player Christian Tiffert.
Seattle can buy out the midfielder's contract before a March 2 deadline that coincides with the first day of league games.
Tiffert, who made $625,000 last year, hasn't been with the team the past two weeks in Tucson and coach Sigi Schmid, in an interview with ExtraTime Radio, vaguely described it as "a situation that's in a process right now."
"It's something I know that (general manager) Adrian Hanauer is dealing with and something that hopefully will get resolved in a short period of time," Schmid added.
Hanauer gave similar indications in a conference call earlier this week when he reiterated a commitment to signing a big-time DP forward (the hottest rumor involves Obafemi Martins of Spain's Levante UD).
Important preseason preparation continues in the face of more change, and the Sounders will play Veracruz of the Mexican second division in a 6 p.m. exhibition Friday in Tucson.
Seattle will use the game essentially as a dress rehearsal for a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series on March 6 and 12 against Tigres UANL, the top team in the Mexican first division.
"There's obviously a difference in quality between Tigres and Veracruz — there's a difference in quality between Tigres and some other teams in the Mexican first division — but what's most important for us is to play a team that plays in the style of a Mexican team," Schmid said.
The Sounders brought Mexico's Jaguares de Chiapas to Seattle for an exhibition last year for CCL prep, but scheduling conflicts didn't allow for a first-division opponent this time.
"We wanted to take the best alternative available to us," Schmid said.
Solo to miss 6-8 weeks after wrist surgery
Reign FC goalkeeper Hope Solo won't participate in the Algarve Cup with the U.S. women's national team in March due to a right wrist injury that will require surgery next week.
The Richland native had been playing through ligament damage, according to U.S. Soccer, and team doctors advised her to address the issue immediately with Women's World Cup qualifiers not until the end of 2014.
Solo, a University of Washington product, is expected to be out six to eight weeks.
USWNT coach Tom Sermanni named a 23-player squad Thursday for the Algarve Cup, a tournament in Portugal from March 6-13, and Reign FC midfielder Megan Rapinoe was included. Former Sounders Women's stars Alex Morgan and Sydney Leroux are also on the U.S. team that will face Iceland, China and Sweden in group play.
• Sounders FC will be featured in four of the last six MLS regular-season games broadcast on the ESPN networks this year. Seattle gets three of the last four games to be shown on ESPN proper.
• The Sounders Women have hired Hubert Busby Jr. as head coach and GM. The former Jamaican international recently worked for the Vancouver Whitecaps Women; he replaces Michelle French, who this week was named coach of the U.S. U-20 women's national team.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter @joshuamayers