Defender Danny Earls played last season with the MLS champion Colorado Rapids, while forward O’Brian White played for Toronto FC.
Both became Sounders in November trades, and both seem to have made good first impressions in camp.
Here's what coach Sigi Schmid said this morning when asked about this newcomers:
“I think Danny has done well. He has come in and played with a lot of energy and always being left-footed helps you because you’ve got more right-footed players than lefties. I think he has done a very good job and he is somebody we obviously continue to focus on and look at but he’s definitely competing. He’s right there in the mix.
"O’Brian White we’ve let him play the last couple of days. We still feel he is one of the guys who needs to build his fitness … but for sure when he has been on the field his movements, his movements around the box, I think in every game we have played he has either scored or been goal dangerous, which is what you want from a forward. He’s a big body. He’s got good size, good speed. I think this club is going to have a lot of joy with O’Brian White before the day is over.”
Earls, 21, is a native of Dublin, Ireland – and sounds like it – and he has played for Aston Villa (England 2006-07), Rochester (USL-1, 2008-09), and started 15 games last season at Colorado.
White, 25, was named Soccer America’s Player of the Year as a junior at Connecticut and has played with the Jamaica national team. Toronto selected him with the fourth overall pick in the 2009 SuperDraft, and over two seasons he started 14 games and recorded four goals and four assists.
Vancouver selected him in the expansion draft and then sent him on to Seattle for allocation money.
Here are quick introductory interviews with both players:
WHITEQ: How have the first couple of days gone?A: It’s been good. I’ve been here for like three weeks now, I’ve been training with the coaches and the trainers so far. It’s good to get started early.
Q: Is Seattle's camp different from Toronto's? A: They’re kind of similar. This is a new environment. At this time now in Toronto we’re training indoors. Training outdoors is different.
Q: How is your knee?A: My knee is good. It’s not bothering me at all. The knee is no issue: no swelling or anything.
Q: Does this new team offer a fresh start?A: It somewhat is a fresh start. Anytime you go to a new team is like a new chapter in your life. Somewhat it’s a fresh start, but I’m definitely looking forward to helping the team in whatever way I can. … I just want to play and do good for myself and the team. That’s my main focus, not really to show somebody that they should have taken me.
Q: How would you describe your style of play?A: I’ve got some speed, I’ve got a good touch on the ball, so I like to stretch the defense. I move pretty well after the ball. Hopefully, I’ll get adjusted to the guys, get used to how they play. … (would rather face (the defense)
Q: Sounders management seems excited about having you: Is it nice to be wanted?A: That’s one of the reasons I came out here early before preseason, to get a feel for what it’s like and get some training done from early on. They’re excited to have me, but I’m even more excited to be a part of this organization.
EARLSQ: How have your first days gone?A: “It’s been great. So far it’s been a real easy transition. The guys have been great. I’ve had a few days with some of the draft guys and a few of the newer guys as well. I’ve got my feet under me and now get playing again. … The lads here have helped me settle in, and I’ve been looking forward to the season since we got done last year.
Q: Do you see how you can help this team?A: “I feel like I can bring a lot to the team. If the manager sees that, it’s great. I’ve got to show them what I can do. It’s up to me now to really get in here and get my head down and work hard. I can bring a lot: I can get forward, I can defend. It’s up to me to prove that.”
Q: Do MLS players view Seattle as an attractive destination?A: “Last year, I was recalling with the boys how amazing it would be to play here. The fans are the best in the league, I’ve never seen anything like it; I’ve never played in front of anything like it. That’s going to be real exciting. If that doesn’t get your goosebumps going, nothing will. Everyone around the league says this is the best-run club here, and I’ve only heard great things since I’ve been here. That’s only going to help me improve as a player, so I’m just looking forward to really getting settled down here and showing people what I can do.”