The league’s maximum budget fee is $ 612,500 (that is, if Smith was above that in 2020, they’d have to buy it with allotment.) In 2019, Smith had total pay of $ 549,092.00 per MLS Players Association, which him to one of the highest earning left-backs in the league.
There’s also a surplus of high-quality full-backs in Seattle, a position that is generally thin in many MLS squads. Nouhou and Joevin Jones are now second choice, although Jones is equally adept as a winger. Any player would likely be a regular for many other MLS teams.
Speculatively, the Smith acquisition could give the front office the flexibility to close a deal if they find the right offer. Center-back has been a question mark for the Sounders this season so maybe a team with an excess of center-backs might be interested. Matt Doyle theorizes that a player like Tim Parkerwho at the. fell out of favor New York Red Bulls, would make sense as a trade target.
From a sporting standpoint, Smith’s arrival is pretty straightforward.
“It gives us competition in the squad and it gives us freedom of choice,” said Lagerwey. “It makes us better in four or five different ways. It adds an explosive player to our team. “
Smith was head coach Brian Schmetzer’s first left-back on his loan and played 25 regular season games in 2019, limited to this number only due to injury. He also started all four games in their cup winners playoff run. The marauding full-back gives Seattle’s already buzzing attack a further dimension with his speed and skill in the last third.
His five primary assists were the third most popular in the MLS among defenders in 2019, according to Opta. He was fifth in chances achieved per 90 minutes, sixth in expected assists per 90 and sixth in exact crosses per 90.
“I feel like I can add what I brought with me last time and hopefully push for MLS cups in a row,” said Smith.
So Smith is back in Seattle to find stability and hunt trophies. And that’s what it means for the club, another brilliant boost for hardware.