Professional soccer team the Seattle Sounders will be able to keep its midfielder Mauro Rosales, as the player was able to attain a green card recently.
Originally hailing from Villa Maria, Argentina, Rosales has been with the Seattle Sounders since march 2011. According to the MLS Network, Rosales previously played for two Argentinian soccer clubs and played three years for Holland’s Ajax.
While sports have always been an arena that seeks out international talent, Major League Soccer limits the number of foreign players each team can have on its roster. However, with Rosales now holding a green card, the Sounders can afford to take on more international talent. Current Sounders player Alvaro Fernandez is a likely bet for the team’s next green card.
For the 2012 season, the MLS Roster Rules and Regulations declares that a total of 152 international slots must be divided between the 19 clubs currently part of the league. The remaining team members must be domestic players, which is defined as those with U.S. citizenship, a permanent green card or a player in the country on special status, such as refugee status.
While teams can trade for the rights to more international slots for their roster, current Sounders coach Sigi Schmid does not believe that is right. A number of non-roster invitees are currently included on the Sounders, and would count as international players if officially asked to join the team.
International athletes have not all been as lucky as Morales, however. According to the San Bernardino Sun, AA hockey player Chad Starling was turned back at the Canadian border for holding a B-1 visa instead of a P-1 visa, which is needed in the United States for athletes who have already been signed by a team. Although Starling was eventually processed for the appropriate visa, injuries caused the player to be cut from his California hockey team, leading Starling to an untimely retirement from the sport.