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Saturday’s second big surprise: Shalrie Joseph’s contract bought out by Seattle

Shalrie Joseph

Seattle Sounders’ Shalrie Joseph walks on the the field before an MLS soccer game against the San Jose Earthquakes, Saturday, May 11, 2013, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)


No, the headline isn’t serious, but building on the theme established when Colorado confirmed Paolo Mastroeni as their permanent head coach, Seattle delivered a second piece of ‘we saw this coming’ news. Shortly before the team kicked off their 2014 season against Sporting Kansas City, the Sounders announced veteran midfielder Shalrie Joseph’s contract had been bought out, making the four-time Best XI midfielder a free agent.

Joseph was acquired in early 2013 from Chivas USA, with the Grenadian international’s second MLS club throwing in various sundries to send him and his Designated Player contract on the Sounders. Injured through much of the 2013 campaign and eventually renegotiating his contract so that he no longer a DP, Joseph was a non-factor for Seattle last year, his most memorable moment coming when he was a surprise starter at forward in the second leg of the team’s conference semifinal.

(MORE: Stoppage time goal gives Seattle 1-0 opening day win over Sporting Kansas City (video))

Joseph spent much of the preseason training with New England, raising the possibility a deal that would send him his original team, but given the place the 35-year-old is at in his career, a trade was always unlikely. Seattle was always destined to buy-out his deal.

Now, having be let go by the Sounders, Joseph is free to sign on the cheap with New England, or whichever team wants to see if one of MLS’s great has anything left in the tank.

Follow @richardfarley