Jimmy Medranda a pending free agent following 2022, 3 others with club options
The MLS Players Association released their list of pending free agents, plus the list of free agent eligible players with club options in their contracts. The Sounders have one player (Jimmy Medranda) who is out of contract, and then three players with club options. To be eligible for MLS free agency, a player must have at least five years of experience in the league and be at least 24 years old.
Medranda, a 28-year old defender, has played in 13 matches this season (with five starts). He has tallied 397 minutes on the year. He has two assists in that time, and is also completing 81.8% of his passes.
Medranda made his way to Seattle in 2020 in a trade that involved Handwalla Bwana heading to Nashville. Medranda has 137 MLS appearances dating back to 2013. He played the majority of his MLS career with Sporting Kansas City (from 2013-2019). Medranda has played in 30 matches total for Seattle (where he's scored four of his nine career MLS goals).
Medranda has a cap hit of $200,000 this season according to the Player's Association salary guide. Depending on what his cap would look like next season, I could definitely see the Sounders trying to bring Medranda back to help contribute on the back line.
Seattle will then have three big-time names facing club options. Those players are Will Bruin, Fredy Montero, and Jordan Morris. Morris will almost assuredly have his option picked up. Bruin and Montero might be let go, but I believe that all three of these players will likely be brought back.
Bruin, a 32-year old forward, has seen his playing time dip this season, but remains talented. This season, he has two goals across 488 minutes (14 matches total/6 starts). He is completing 76.5% of his passes. Bruin has been in Seattle since 2017 when Seattle acquired him in a trade with the Houston Dynamo. Overall, Bruin 76 career goals across 300 MLS matches on the dot dating back to 2011. Bruin has a cap hit of $260,000 this season, which is manageable as long as the Sounders are fine playing a depth piece up top that much.
Montero, a 34-year old striker, has seen his goal production drop this season, but remains a key player for the Sounders. He has scored two goals with one assist this season through 15 matches (nine starts). He has played 827 minutes in that time. Montero is completing 78.3% of his passes this season. There's also the fact that Montero is a Sounders legend. He played in Seattle previous to this current tenure from 2008-2013 before spending time in Portugal and China. He then rejoined Seattle prior to 2021 after a three-year stint in Vancouver. Montero is arguably on a bargain of a contract with a cap hit of just $110,000 this past season, which might be his biggest saving grace. He isn't the player he was in years back, but has a pretty cheap contract.
It is also worth noting that Seattle declined to pick up club option on Montero before this past season, but re-signed him to a new deal in free agency. Many different factors could be at play here. Montero could retire, Seattle could just pick up his option, they could decline it and bring him back once again, or they could move on. I wouldn't rule out any of those four options. Montero has 56 career goals with Seattle across 163 matches with the club (although he has just nine goals over the past two years).
Morris, a 27-year old forward, is as safe of a bet to see his option picked up as you'll see (or to get an extension). Morris is an MLS All-Star this season as he has five goals and three assists through 1,250 minutes. He has appeared in 16 matches (with 14 starts). Morris is also completing 79.7% of his passes on the year and has made 17 key passes as well. Morris has spent full pro career with Seattle after joining in 2016 on a Homegrown contract (to return to the Sounders organization after spending his collegiate career at Stanford). Morris is one of the highest paid non-Designated Players in the league with a cap hit of $1.25m this season. However, he has proven to be worth that price with his play on the field and his importance to the Sounders organization.
The Sounders will have roster decisions to make on four very important pieces this offseason. It would not surprise me if all four are brought back for another year in Seattle.