Jeff Parke was the first Sounder to go, traded to the Philadelphia Union for allocation money and a supplemental draft pick in early December. Parke was the anchor of one of the league’s most steadfast back lines in the 2012 season. He was a steadily strong performer over the course of his time with the club, but his high salary and desire to move back east due to family reasons made his departure all but inevitable. That loss was painful in its own right, but entering 2013 the club was still in need of dramatic salary relief and clearly worse off than they’d been at the conclusion of 2012. Something had to give.
A few weeks later, something did. Seattle announced that Fredy Montero would be loaned to Colombian side Millonarios FC, with an option to buy rumored at $4.5 million. Though the window to Montero’s return is still technically open, the move likely signaled the end of an era for the most accomplished player in the (admittedly short) history of the team. The deal opened up a significant amount of cap space for the team but it left an undeniably massive hole to fill in the center of Seattle’s attack.