Sounders expectations seem modest going into the MLS SuperDraft, which begins at 9:30 a.m. Thursday and will be streamed live on the MLSsoccer.com website.
Sporting director Chris Henderson said the club goes into the draft looking for defensive depth and a third goalkeeper -- perhaps simply guys who could develop on the new Sounders 2 USL-Pro team.
Seattle holds the No. 27 and 40 picks in the two-round draft, after sending its first-round pick – 19th overall -- to Toronto last season for goalkeeper Stefan Frei. The Reds subsequently shuffled that pick along to Colorado. Unless they trade up, Seattle’s initial pick will be the second-rounder they acquired from Chivas USA along with Shalrie Joseph.
Here's some of what Henderson had to say:
On the MLS Combine in Flordia:I thought the University of Washington guys represented here. It’s good to see some local talent. We also feel really good about getting Darwin Jones signed. … He would have gone in the first round. Anything can happen in a three-game combine and players playing, but I think from what we’ve seen and the way Darwin plays, I think he would have stood out here and gone pretty high.
On the overall draft class: I think with some of the things that have changed over the years – with the homegrown players diluting some of the player pool – I think it’s affected the group. In my opinion this class is probably not as good as any of the classes I’ve seen. I think some of the players signing, some of the players going overseas and different options thin the group out a little bit. But there are some pieces in the first round that teams will be able to get and be able to build upon, especially the ones with the high picks.
On the impact of trading for veteran goalkeeper Troy Perkins: We feel really happy with the way Stefan ended last year. And we feel really good with adding an experienced player with Perkins. He’s had some big games. He wouldn’t be shy in a big game to come in, and I think that’s what you want at each position. … We have (drafting a young keeper) in mind. We have to see at out picks what’s on the board, but I think a younger goalkeeper, someone who can develop and push the other two keepers. There can be plenty of opportunity between Champions League, Open Cup and S2 where they are going to get significant minutes.