- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 2, 2015

SEATTLE (AP) - The Seattle Sounders began an offseason of significant roster changes by declining contract options on nine players for the 2016 season, including midfielders Marco Pappa, Gonzalo Pineda and defender Zach Scott.

Among the others declined contract options Wednesday were Leo Gonzalez, Chad Barrett, Andres Correa, Michael Azira, Troy Perkins and Thomas. Gonzalez and Scott were original members of the Sounders since their expansion season in 2009 and Scott previously played for the USL Sounders.

“We owe those guys a tip of the cap,” Seattle general manager Garth Lagerwey said of Gonzalez and Scott.

The decisions Seattle made were an overall attempt to find more youth and speed, especially on the outside, to go along with a core group that’s getting older. Seattle may still bring back Pappa, who had three goals and six assists in 17 MLS games this season, but his salary for the 2016 season was too high for the Sounders.

“The door remains open to try and work something out with Marco,” Lagerwey said.

Seattle did exercise contract options on 11 players including: goalkeepers Stefan Frei and Charlie Lyon; defenders Chad Marshall, Tyrone Mears, Oniel Fisher, Damion Lowe, Jimmy Ockford and Dylan Remick; midfielders Aaron Kovar and Lamar Neagle; and forward Vic Mansaray.

Seattle currently has 21 players under contract for next season. An unknown is midfielder Andy Rose, who Lagerwey said is currently on trial at Coventry City in England. If Rose decides to return to MLS, the Sounders retain his rights.

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