Seattle, Washington — The Seattle Sounders have found Kim Kee-hee’s replacement. With the South Korean international gone this season, the Sounders have been shopping around for a new centerback. Now, they have one in Yeimar Gómez Andrade.
Andrade is joining the Sounders from Argentina, where he featured for eight seasons. His most recent club in Argentina was Unión de Sante Fe, where he spent the last three seasons. The 27-year-old originally hails from Colombia.
In Argentina, Andrade scored five goals in 64 appearances for Unión de Sante Fe. He started all 64 of his league-wide appearances. Meanwhile, he also featured for Independiente Rivadavia, Rosario Central, Arsenal de Sarandi and Tiro Federal.
In eight seasons, Andrade appeared in 156 matches, in all competitions, in Argentina.
“We are pleased to add a strong, experienced defender to the club,” Brian Schmetzer, Sounders head coach, said. “Yeimar fits the profile we were looking for and we have confidence that he can make a positive impact us. We look forward to having him join us for our preseason preparations and seeing how he fits with our squad.”
As mentioned, Andrade will be filling a spot that was once taken by Kim. The South Korean elected to not return to the Sounders. However, as of now, Kim has not signed with another club — MLS or abroad. The Sounders also saw Román Torres depart for Inter Miami. However, his replacement is Xavier Arreaga, who came to Seattle in the summer.
Garth Lagerwey, Sounders general manager, said that Kim is “likely” not returning. Andrade’s signing essentially confirms that notion.
“Yeimar… brings a wealth athleticism and experience to a position of need for us,” Lagerwey said. “Combined with João Paulo, we’ve now added a pair of key offseason pieces that puts our roster in a good spot as the season approaches.”
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— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) February 5, 2020
Depth on defense needed addressed
The Sounders needed help on defense.
With new signings mingling and learning about their new teammates, only a few familiar faces are back on defense. Kelvin Leerdam is the only defender who started the MLS Cup Championship match that returned to the team. Brad Smith went back to England, but is on loan with Cardiff City. Meanwhile, Kim and Torres have departed, too.
Nouhou and Arreaga are back, joining Leerdam as the only three returning defenders from last year’s team. Joevin Jones is also listed as a defender, but also a midfielder, too. However, he featured primarily in the midfield when he returned last season.
Seattle picked up Danny Reynolds in the MLS SuperDraft. The club also signed Shane O’Neill, who featured for Orlando City SC before coming to Seattle.
Bringing in Andrade is going to bolster the defense physically, but also mentally. An eight-season veteran in Argentina, he brings experience and leadership to the Sounders. That’s a crucial aspect the team needed before featuring the Concacaf Champions League.
“He reads the game well and is a strong one on one defender,” Chris Henderson, Sounders sporting director, said. “He anticipates and intercepts balls in transition from defense to attack and is very fast. We are excited to see him in a Sounders FC jersey marking attacking players out of the game.”
— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) February 6, 2020
Full Seattle Sounders roster
As of right now, the following players bring the Sounders roster to 22 players. The team is preparing for their first Concacaf Champions League match of 2020, facing CD Olimpia of Honduras in San Pedro Sula on Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. PT.
Then, on Feb. 27, the Sounders will host Olimpia at CenturyLink Field at 7 p.m. PT.
- Goalkeepers: Stefan Cleveland, Stefan Frei & Trey Muse
- Defenders: Xavier Arreaga, Yeimar Gómez Andrade, Joevin Jones, Kelvin Leerdam, Shane O’Neill, Danny Reynolds & Nouhou
- Midfielders: Julian Avila-Good, Handwalla Bwana, Jordy Delem, Danny Leyva, Nicolás Lodeiro, Timo Mihlich, João Paulo, Cristian Roldan, Harry Shipp & Gustav Svensson
- Forwards: Will Bruin, Justin Dhillon, Jordan Morris, Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez & Raúl Ruidíaz