TUKWILA — The Sounders signed two players before the MLS transfer window closed Tuesday night: One deal brought Joevin Jones back to the club, and the other brought in rising Ecuadorian star Xavier Arreaga.
“We’re constantly looking to improve our squad, and today we’ve brought in two players — a new face and a familiar face,” Sounders general manager Garth Lagerwey said in a news release.
German publication Bild first reported Jones, who was playing for German second-division club Darmstadt, would be returning to Seattle. The Athletic reported the Sounders will pay a $150,000 transfer in January 2020.
Jones, 27, played two seasons for the Sounders, including its 2016 championship run. The left midfielder from Trinidad and Tobago had three goals and 19 assists for Seattle.
Arreaga, 24, had been playing for Barcelona, an Ecuadorian Serie A club team. The center back has good size and could help protect the Sounders against injuries along the back line, especially because Chad Marshall, a three-time MLS defender of the year, likely is nearing the end of his career.
Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer didn’t comment directly on the reports of the signings at practice Tuesday. But he did add insight to how players of Jones and Arreaga’s caliber could help Seattle wade through current injuries to key players and upcoming international competitions where six players could be called-up for the CONCACAF Gold Cup in June.
“If (Jones) comes back, it would be icing on the cake because we have a very talented team,” Schmetzer said. “If you want to win championships, why wouldn’t you want to have a couple of additional pieces?”
Seattle left winger Brad Smith is on loan from English Premier League team Bournemouth, and his agent was recently in Seattle to speak with Garth Lagerwey, the Sounders general manager and president of soccer, about Smith’s deal that is set to expire in June. The Sounders have Nouhou as an option at Smith’s position but could use another player.
The Sounders (5-1-4) returned to training Tuesday following a draw at Minnesota, the team’s third in as many games. Seattle hosts Houston (6-1-1) on Saturday at CenturyLink Field.
Correction: A previous version of this story said Arreaga is playing in Spain. He is playing in Ecuador.