Roman Torres announced via his Instagram account Thursday evening that he’s no longer part of the Sounders FC organization.
The club didn’t pick up the option on the center back’s contract instead wanting to negotiate a deal less than the $750,000 he made this season, according to figures provided by the MLS Players Association.
Sounders general manager Garth Lagerwey said Wednesday he was in contact with Torres’ agent and the club is unwilling to sign Torres at what he made in 2019.
Lagerwey is looking to make the roster younger. Torres, 33, would be competing for a starting role with Xavier Arreaga, 25, and Kim Kee-hee, 30.
“Dear Sounders family,” began Torres’ post in English and his native Spanish. “It is with great sadness that I write these words to inform you that this was my last season as a Seattle Sounders player.”
Because Torres’ contract wasn’t picked up by the club, he’ll go through the end-of-year waivers and re-entry draft process that begin next week. If not signed by another MLS team, he could still re-sign with the Sounders in December.
Torres was originally signed by the Sounders in August 2015 from the Colombian side Millonarios. Injuries limited Torres’ contributions through most of his five-year tenure with Seattle, but he appeared in a MLS-high 23 matches during the 2017 season.
Torres made an indelible mark on the franchise for his big plays in big games and big personality in the locker room. He had the winning goal in the shootout against Toronto FC to seal the 2016 MLS Cup.
This season Torres, who’s from Panama, had the winning goal against Minnesota United FC on “Decision Day” to secure home-field advantage through the Western Conference semifinals. It was his first MLS career goal. Torres was complemented by teammates for his defense during the title match against Toronto earlier this month, playing 90 minutes to help the Sounders win the 2019 Cup.
He had a 10-match MLS suspension beginning in August for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. Sounders striker Raul Ruidiaz, a close friend to Torres, told Spanish-speaking media outlets it was an unfortunate mistake. Torres opted to not challenge the suspension and declined to discuss the matter when he returned to play in September.
“I came here with big expectations, and now, after more than 4 years, 3 conference championships, 2 MLS Cup, I can look back and feel proud of what we have achieved together,” Torres stated in the post. “From now on always a Sounder fan, expecting that soccer makes us meet again, always wishing all the best to you, your families and Seattle Sounders organization.”