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Seattle Sounders Acquire Uruguayan National Alvaro Fernandez

Bill HareCorrespondent IJuly 30, 2010

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 02: Hans Sarpei of Ghana tackles Alvaro Fernandez of Uruguay during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Quarter Final match between Uruguay and Ghana at the Soccer City stadium on July 2, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

On Thursday, the Seattle Sounders FC acquired Uruguay National Team midfielder Alvaro Fernandez. The 24-year-old Fernandez played in four matches for semifinalist Uruguay during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Fernandez qualifies as the club's third Designated Player. His signing will be finalized upon receipt of his International Transfer Certificate. Fernandez has not yet been added to the active roster. Per Major League Soccer and club policy, terms were not disclosed.

Fernandez started for Uruguay in the quarterfinal against Ghana, and was a substitute in wins over South Africa, Mexico, and South Korea. La Celeste took fourth in South Africa, its best finish since 1970.  He has been capped 11 times by Uruguay, including appearances in six qualifiers-since his debut in 2008.

"I'm very excited to be playing in the U.S. because the football has grown a lot in the last few years and keeps getting better," said Fernandez. "Seattle is beautiful and I think it's the ideal place to be with my family. All these things helped in making my decision."

Sounders Coach Sigi Schmid said:

"Alvaro is a versatile player who can play in a number of midfield positions. He brings good energy to the game as well as World Cup experience. He can score and also set up others."

Fernandez played the 2010 season for Chile's Universidad. Located in Santiago, Universidad finished second in the Primera Division.  The team is currently in the semi-final stage of the Copa Libertadores, the South American club championship.

"My goals are always the same whenever I join a team, to try to help, on and off the field,” Fernandez said, “to help the club achieve its goals and, obviously, win championships. I believe I can contribute through my experience. I describe myself as a fast, smooth player, who can play on either flank. I am strong in the air, and I work very hard."

Fernandez earned his first selection by the Uruguay National Team while playing for Nacional.

In addition to national team play, Fernandez has top-flight experience in Uruguay, Mexico, Portugal, and Chile. In 2009 Nacional won the Uruguayan Primeria Division and reached the semifinals of the Copa Libertadores.

"Alvaro is experienced internationally and he has demonstrated a tremendous work rate and great tactical awareness," Chris Henderson, Sounders technical director, said. "He likes to connect passes, possesses good pace, and moves well off the ball."

“We have been tracking Alvaro for a while,” Sounders General Manager Adrian Hanauer revealed.  “Versatility, quality, character, a lot of the same attributes that we have been interested in all along. Alvaro is a player who has a very good pace. He is good in the air. Versatility, he can play anywhere across the midfield. Again, we just felt like another quality player was necessary to continue to build on what we have got and certainly to make a run for the playoffs.”

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