10 Best Seattle Sounders FC Players In MLS History | 2024

Seattle Sounders FC has a proud history shaped by its standout players who’ve lifted the team and boosted soccer in the US through MLS.

Since 2009, the Sounders have been a major force in Major League Soccer, backed by passionate fans and a commitment to greatness. From seasoned veterans to rising talents, each player has left their mark on the club’s story.

Looking back at Seattle Sounders FC’s journey, it’s time to credit 1o of the best players who’ve helped define the team’s legacy and inspired fans across generations.

Top Seattle Sounders Players in MLS History

1. Stefan Frei

  • Position: Goalkeeper
10 Best Seattle Sounders FC Players In MLS History

Stefan Frei has become a beloved figure in Seattle for his remarkable performances as a goalkeeper. His lightning-fast reflexes and ability to stop shots have saved the Seattle Sounders on numerous occasions.

During the 2016 MLS Season, Frei proved himself as one of the top goalkeepers in the league. He kept an impressive eight clean sheets in 33 appearances, among the highest in the league.

Thanks to his efforts, Seattle qualified for the playoffs, finishing fourth in the Western Conference.

In the MLS Cup playoffs, Frei’s stellar performance continued. He conceded only three goals throughout the playoffs and kept four clean sheets in six matches.

His standout moment came in the MLS Cup 2016 final against his former club, Toronto FC.

Frei was named the MVP of the match after making seven crucial saves during regular play and another in the decisive penalty shoot-out.

His remarkable save on Jozy Altidore’s header in the second half of extra time was hailed as one of the best saves in MLS Cup history.

Frei’s excellence continued into the 2017 MLS season, where he reaffirmed his status as one of the league’s premier goalkeepers.

He started 33 games, made 84 saves, and boasted an impressive 69.4% save percentage. Additionally, he averaged just 1.09 goals against per game and kept 13 clean sheets, the most by any goalkeeper that season.

Frei’s contributions in goal have been instrumental in Seattle Sounders FC’s success, earning him recognition as one of the league’s finest goalkeepers.

2. Nicolás Lodeiro

  • Position: Midfielder 
10 Best Seattle Sounders FC Players In MLS History

Since joining the Sounders in 2016, Nicolás Lodeiro has been the heart of the team.

He played his first game for the club on July 31, 2016, starting in midfield and playing the entire 90 minutes of a 1–1 home draw against LA Galaxy.

In that first game, Lodeiro was heavily involved, making 124 touches on the ball, the fourth-highest in the 2016 season for the Sounders, and completing 94 passes, the most for Seattle.

He scored his debut goal for the Sounders on August 14, 2016, at home against Real Salt Lake, helping his team secure a 2–1 win at Century Link Field.

Lodeiro played a key role in the Sounders’ journey to the MLS Cup in 2016 under interim manager Brian Schmetzer.

He scored four goals and provided eight assists in 13 regular-season games, helping Seattle qualify for the playoffs. In the playoffs, he added four more goals in six games, leading the team to clinch the championship.

In the MLS Cup Final against Toronto on December 10, after a goalless draw in extra time, Lodeiro scored a crucial penalty kick during the shootout to keep the Sounders’ hopes alive.

His contribution, alongside a missed penalty from Toronto’s Justin Morrow, paved the way for Román Torres to secure the first MLS Cup for the Sounders.

Lodeiro’s arrival marked a turning point for the Sounders, who were struggling at the bottom of the league. His playmaking abilities not only transformed the team’s performance but also uplifted his teammates.

For his outstanding performances, he was honored with the 2016 MLS Newcomer of the Year award.

Lodeiro’s knack for controlling the game’s pace and delivering in crucial moments has earned him the admiration of fans and cemented his status among the club’s top players.

3. Clint Dempsey

  • Position: Forward/Midfielder
10 Best Seattle Sounders FC Players In MLS History

During his time with the Sounders, Dempsey stood out for his unmatched talent and determination.

Dempsey joined the MLS team Seattle Sounders FC as a Designated Player on a four-year deal, with a transfer fee of $9 million.

He chose to wear the number 2 shirt, instead of his usual number 8 for the United States and number 23 from his time at Fulham. This meant DeAndre Yedlin, who previously wore the number 2, switched to number 17.

Dempsey’s ability to play various attacking positions, whether as a forward, winger or attacking midfielder, made him a versatile asset for the team.

His versatility led to him being classified as either a forward or midfielder in different tournaments, like the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, where he was listed as a forward (FW) and midfielder (MF) respectively.

Dempsey’s dynamic style of play and knack for scoring important goals played a crucial role in the Sounders’ success.

Beyond his contributions on the field, his personality and passion served as inspiration for both his teammates and fans.

4. Obafemi Martins

  • Position: Forward
10 Best Seattle Sounders FC Players In MLS History

Martins brought an electrifying energy to Seattle during his time with the club.

On March 11, 2013, it was announced that Martins had signed with MLS team Seattle Sounders FC as a Designated Player, following the payment of a $4 million buyout clause from his contract with Levante.

The signing ended weeks of speculation about Martins joining Seattle, with Levante initially hesitant to let him go mid-season and even threatening legal action against Sounders FC for tampering.

Three days later, the club officially confirmed Martins’ signing. He scored his first goal for the team on April 20, 2013, celebrating with his trademark back-flip goal celebration.

Martins then signed a new three-year contract extension with Seattle, nearly doubling his salary to over $3 million per year. The very next day, he provided an assist for Marco Pappa’s goal as Seattle defeated the Galaxy 2–0, securing the Supporters’ Shield.

During the regular season, Martins set a club record with 17 goals and tied the club record with 13 assists, alongside Mauro Rosales.

In the 2014 season, Martins continued his success with the Sounders, being named as one of the three finalists for the MLS MVP award. He was also included in the MLS Best XI.

The Sounders won every game in which he scored, and Martins’ goal from an extremely tight angle against the Earthquakes earned him the MLS Goal of the Year award.

Martins’ incredible speed and skill made him a nightmare for opposing defenses, consistently threatening to score.

His partnership with Clint Dempsey formed one of the most formidable attacking duos in the league, securing his place in Sounders history.

5. Osvaldo Alonso

  • Position: Midfielder
10 Best Seattle Sounders FC Players In MLS History

Known as the “Honey Badger” for his relentless determination, Osvaldo Alonso embodied the fighting spirit of the Sounders.

He was the first player signed by the club for Major League Soccer (MLS), and quickly won over fans with his tough tackling and ability to disrupt opposing teams’ attacks.

In the 2009 MLS Season, Alonso played a crucial role, starting in 28 out of 29 appearances in both the regular season and playoffs.

He showcased his durability by playing the full 90 minutes in 26 games and all 210 minutes across both playoff matches against Houston.

Despite missing three matches due to a quadriceps strain, Alonso returned with a bang, scoring a remarkable long-range goal against D.C. United on June 17.

By the end of the season, he contributed one goal and three assists, with all three assists coming in the first two matches.

In 2010, Alonso overcame injury to aid Seattle in achieving the league’s best record in the latter part of the season.

Despite starting in 23 out of 25 appearances in the regular season and playoffs, matching his stats from 2009 with one goal and three assists, Alonso’s impact was evident. He scored the decisive goal against Chivas on October 15.

Although he missed eight games due to a quadriceps strain sustained on May 8, Seattle won 11 out of 19 regular-season matches when he played at least 45 minutes



6. Jordan Morris

  • Position: Forward
10 Best Seattle Sounders FC Players In MLS History

Jordan Morris, a product of the Sounders’ youth academy, emerged as a hometown hero through his remarkable journey.

Following his victory in the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship, there was talk of Morris transitioning to professional play. Coach Jürgen Klinsmann emphasized the need for Morris to turn pro.

Morris faced criticism for his decision to extend his stay at Stanford University for a third year instead of going pro immediately, as well as for choosing to play in the United States rather than Europe.

In 2016, Morris announced his decision to leave Stanford early and join a professional team. It was widely anticipated that he would sign with Seattle Sounders FC, the team where his father is employed and holds his amateur rights.

He joined the Sounders’ preseason training camp in Arizona and made his debut on February 9 in a friendly against Celaya F.C.

Just two weeks later, he made his professional debut against Club América in the CONCACAF Champions League, followed by his Major League Soccer debut against Sporting Kansas City.

Morris scored his first MLS goal for the Sounders on April 16, 2016, against the Philadelphia Union.

He then went on to score in three consecutive games, equaling the Seattle rookie scoring record before eventually surpassing it. His goals played a crucial role in the Sounders’ remarkable climb from ninth place to fourth, culminating in their first MLS Cup victory.

Morris was instrumental in securing the title, along with contributions from Nicolas Lodeiro, a midseason acquisition by Seattle.

For his outstanding performance, Morris was honored as the MLS Rookie of the Year, having scored 12 regular-season goals, the second-highest for a league rookie after Cyle Larin in 2015.

7. Chad Marshall

  • Position: Defender
10 Best Seattle Sounders FC Players In MLS History

Marshall’s commanding presence in defense solidified him as a cornerstone of the Sounders’ backline for many seasons.

In 2013, Marshall was traded to Seattle Sounders FC in exchange for allocation money and a third-round pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft.

He made an immediate impact, scoring his first goal for the Sounders with a game-winning header against the Philadelphia Union on May 3.

His exceptional performance earned him the title of MLS Defender of the Year for the third time, a testament to his defensive prowess as the Sounders clinched the Supporters’ Shield.

Unfortunately, on May 22, 2019, Marshall announced his retirement from professional soccer due to injury, bringing an end to his illustrious 16-year Major League Soccer career at the age of 34.

Marshall’s consistent excellence, both defensively and in the air, boosted the confidence of his teammates while frustrating opposing attackers.

His contributions played a vital role in the team’s defensive strength and overall success.

8. Cristian Roldan

  • Position: Midfielder
10 Best Seattle Sounders FC Players In MLS History

In 2015, it was announced that Roldan left college early to join Major League Soccer, signing a Generation Adidas contract.

Although there was anticipation that he would be picked early in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, Roldan ended up being selected late in the first round, with the 16th overall pick by Seattle Sounders FC.

The Sounders had scouted Roldan during his offseason training sessions with the team and traded with Real Salt Lake to secure the draft pick.

Roldan’s early appearances for the Sounders included two substitute appearances in the first two weeks of the season.

He then made a notable impact for the Sounders’ affiliate club, Seattle Sounders FC 2, by scoring an 89th-minute goal in a victory over Sacramento Republic FC.

As injuries and international call-ups depleted the squad, Roldan seized his opportunity and made his first MLS start the following week in a draw against FC Dallas.

He gradually established himself as a regular starter under head coach Sigi Schmid, initially impressing as an impact substitute.

Roldan’s playing style drew comparisons to the Sounders’ captain and defensive midfielder, Osvaldo Alonso, whom he looked up to as a mentor and eventually succeeded in the position.

With his versatility and relentless work ethic, Roldan became an indispensable asset to the Sounders. Whether breaking up opposition plays or orchestrating attacks, his ability to adapt to different midfield roles proved crucial to the team’s success.

9. Fredy Montero

  • Position: Forward
10 Best Seattle Sounders FC Players In MLS History

Montero’s arrival in Seattle marked the start of an exciting chapter for the club.

In January 2009, Seattle Sounders FC secured Montero on loan from Deportivo Cali, despite interest from European club Real Betis. Rumors were suggesting that Montero’s contract was controlled by a third party.

During the 2008/09 preseason, Montero showcased his scoring prowess by netting nine goals in nine games.

He made his MLS debut on March 19, 2009, in the season opener against New York Red Bulls, scoring the first and third goals in Seattle Sounders FC history.

Montero’s impressive performance earned him the MLS Player of the Week award for the first week of the 2009 season, thanks to his two goals.

He continued his goal-scoring streak with another goal against Real Salt Lake, leading to him being named MLS Player of the Month for March 2009 and winning the first two Goals of the Week.

In 2021, Montero returned to Seattle Sounders FC, expressing his desire to come back to the area and retire as a Sounder.

Also, the club needed a new forward following Jordan Morris’s injury. Montero reclaimed the all-time scoring record for the Sounders in April 2021, surpassing Clint Dempsey, and concluded the season with two goals.

Montero’s remarkable goal-scoring abilities, combined with his flair and creativity, endeared him to fans

10. Steve Zakuani

  • Position: Midfielder/Forward
10 Best Seattle Sounders FC Players In MLS History

Zakuani was chosen as the first pick by Seattle Sounders FC in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft, signing a contract under the Generation Adidas program.

He turned down offers from English clubs to join Major League Soccer, a decision that allowed him to set aside funds for future college tuition.

Zakuani played a significant role in the Sounders’ inaugural season, starting 24 out of 30 regular-season games and featuring in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final, where the Sounders emerged victorious.

Zakuani provided an essential attacking threat from the wing, finishing as the team’s third-highest scorer with four goals during the regular season.

He was considered a strong contender for the Rookie of the Year award, boasting the highest number of goals and assists among all newcomers, although the award eventually went to Omar Gonzalez.

Throughout the season, Zakuani garnered praise for improving defensively and making more effective offensive runs.

Despite already being recognized as a talented young player, coach Sigi Schmid emphasized the need for Zakuani to enhance his decision-making on the field and increase his fitness for the upcoming season.

Zakuani’s impact extended beyond his on-field contributions. As a dynamic winger known for his speed and skill, he dazzled fans with his performances and caused headaches for opposing defenses.

Other Seattle Sounders Players

  • Gonzalo Pineda
  • Roger Levesque
  • Brad Evans
  • Zach Scott
  • Eddie Johnson
  • DeAndre Yedlin
  • Nelson Haedo
  • Marco Pappa
  • Mauro Rosales
  • Joevin Jones