The addition of Cordell Cato, the 19-year-old forward from Trinidad, brings the number of new players on this Sounders preseason roster to about a dozen.
Cato joins a list of off-season veteran acquisitions, including goalkeeper Michael Gspurning, defenders Marc Burch and Adam Johansson, and midfielder Christian Sivebaek. Other newcomers include defenders Andrew Duran, Tim Pontius and Wes Feighner, midfielders Jason Banton and Andy Rose, and forwards Abdul Aman and Babayele Sodade, all of whom came into the league in the recent MLS SuperDraft and Supplemental Draft.
The new faces will help fill in for the off-season losses of veteran Sounders such as goalkeeper Kasey Keller and defender Taylor Graham, who retired; forwards Nate Jaqua and Pat Noonan, who were lost in the re-entry draft; defender James Riley, who was taken in the expansion draft; defender Tyson Walk, who was traded; midfielder Erik Friberg, who transferred to Sweden; and midfielder Miguel Montano, whose loan expired.
However, most of the key contributors return from the 2011 club, which went 18-7-9, second best in MLS. Among them are forward Fredy Montero (12 goals); midfielders Mauro Rosales (13 assists), Osvaldo Alonso, Alvaro Fernandez and Brad Evans; and defenders Jeff Parke and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado.
The health status of midfielder Steve Zakuani (leg) is uncertain going into training camp, but forward O’Brian White (leg) is not expected to be immediately available.
The Sounders open camp Thursday morning with separate sessions for newcomers and veterans at the Seahawks indoor training facility in Renton.Parke, Evans and Johansson will miss the opening of camp due to commitments with their national teams. They are expected to join the club at then end of the month, when training shifts to Casa Grande, Ariz.
The Sounders’ first competitive game is March 7, at home against Santos Laguna in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.