Before the summer transfer window closed on Wednesday evening, the Seattle Sounders made two new signings to bolster the club as they enter the final third of the MLS regular season and look ahead to the playoffs.
The first addition is Emanuel Cecchini, an Argentinian defensive midfielder who most recently spent time with Banfield in Superliga on loan from Malága in Spain. The 22-year-old will be on loan with Seattle through the end of the 2020 season, a move using targeted allocation money. Reports also say that there will be a roughly two million dollar option to purchase Cecchini at the end of the 2020 season.
According to Niko Moreno, Cecchini is a #6 defensive midfielder with the capability of going box to box. "His transitions are butter smooth...His defensive approach is something high on his profile," Moreno said.
Seattle's second addition before the window closed is former MLS winger and forward Luis Silva. The 30-year-old spent 2012-2013 with Toronto FC, 2013-2015 with DC United, as well as 2015 and 2017-2018 with Real Salt Lake. This year, Silva played with Honka FC of the Finnish first division, scoring three goals. He comes to the Sounders primarily as a depth piece in the attack, which is much needed factoring in current injuries to Victor Rodriguez (hamstring) and Raul Ruidiaz (concussion). Silva made 157 appearances in his MLS career, scoring 32 goals.
"We are pleased to add a pair of quality players to our roster as the window closes this summer," Sounders FC General Manager and President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey said in a release. "Emanuel gives us a good, versatile option in the midfield, while Luis provides us another option and some good depth in the attack."
"As a coach, I'm always happy when we add quality players to the team. Emanuel and Luis give us two more options to our squad, so I'm looking forward to bringing them in and seeing how they mesh with the group," added Head Coach Brian Schmetzer.
How Cecchini factors into the squad is an interesting question with Gustav Svensson currently out with a hamstring injury, Cristian Roldan playing primarily in the defensive midfield with the versatility to play almost anywhere on the field, and 16-year-old Danny Leyva continuing to improve and play meaningful minutes for the team. If the Argentinian takes minutes away from one player specifically, it is probably Leyva, who has played in five games with four starts.
Silva will likely serve as a backup to Ruidiaz with Will Bruin out with an ACL tear, allowing Jordan Morris to stay on the wing when Ruidiaz is out. Silva also can play in the midfield, giving the club more versatility and depth for Schmetzer to chose from in his lineups.
"We are excited to have brought in Emanuel and Luis, two technical players that we think can help our current squad," Sounders FC Sporting Director and Vice President of Soccer Chris Henderson said. "This roster has competitive depth at each position, and we are confident in our group heading into important fixtures down the stretch."
Both players will begin training with the squad on Thursday after the signings were made official.