Sounders part ways with forward Blaise Nkufo
97.3 KIRO FM staff
The Seattle Sounders FC announced shortly before its season openening loss to the L.A. Galaxy on Tuesday that it has cut ties with forward Blaise Nkufo.
The details of Nkufo’s status are being negotiated by the team, the player’s representative and Major League Soccer.
A source told 97.3 KIRO FM’s Bill Swartz earlier in the day that Nkufo was not happy with the style of play coach Sigi Schmid was asking of him and that the Swiss striker came to the team last week and asked for a trade.
Nkufo, who was one of the club’s designated players, joined Seattle last season following his World Cup appearance for Switzerland. He scored five goals in 11 regular season matches for the Sounders and became the first player in the club’s history to record a hat trick.
“We want to thank Blaise for his contributions to the team last season,” general manager Adrian Hanauer said in a release. “Blaise is a quality person and we wish him nothing but the best.”
Hannauer added in the release that the move “improves our flexibility with regard to the salary cap.”
The 35-year-old Nkufo has family in Vancouver, British Columbia, so it would make sense if he would like to join the expansion Whitecaps. Toronto FC is another possibility.
O’Brian White started in place of Nkufo against the Galaxy.