With their first pick in today's MLS SuperDraft, Seattle Sounders FC has selected Hartford defender Damion Lowe. With their second -- and final scheduled -- pick of the day, Sounders take Louisville defender Jimmy Ockford.
Follow those links for some background scouting information.
Here is Lowe's opening statement with the local media:
"With the coaches I interviewed, and I got some good feedback and I kind of got the feeling that I was going to land here. Then I saw the trade and some spots opening up for Seattle. It’s an honor to be here. It’s a dream come true. Words can’t explain how great I feel right now because I made a lot of people proud in my life. I’ve been through ups and downs, and I come from a place where not many people are successful or fulfill their dreams. I’m just glad for this great opportunity and I’m looking forward to great things when I come to Seattle."
More on those lows he's overcome:
I’ve been through injuries and stuff like that. I’m from a community that basically it’s a ghetto: crime, violence, turf wars. ,,, Not much people from my community become as successful or fulfill their dreams basically. I know I’m my family’s breadwinner, so it’s just a dream come true. I have a lot of people who are proud of me right now, especially my community back home.
Describing his game: Off the field I’m pretty humble and soft-spoken and nice to get along with. I like to have fun. On the field I’m a warrior, I’m a winner, I’m hard, I’m a leader.
(On if has any personal connection with former Sounder Tyrone Marshall…) “Yeah, I’ve met with Tyrone Marshall. My dad was around the National Team for a bit as a kid. I saw him at the combine, also. He wished me luck. I guess luck has finally come my way.”
(On being the third Jamaican player drafted in the first eight picks…) “Andre Blake played at my club back home—Harbour View FC. I played U-20 ball with Andre Lewis. I played against both of them in club soccer, also. I played against Andre Blake at UConn when I was at Hartford in preseason games and stuff like that. We know each other pretty well.”
(On if there is a sense of pride among the Jamaican players doing so well in MLS…) “Definitely. You want to come in and make an impact—make our country proud, make our relatives proud back home because Jamaica is known for good quality players. Not many players get the opportunity to make it to the next level. Knowing that we have this opportunity, we want to take it with both hands and run with it and create a storm in MLS and do great things.”
(On if knows anything about Seattle…) “No, not much. I just know that the fan base is pretty huge. I’ll call it home right now because it’s my new home. I just have to get used to everything…I have to work hard and adapt to everything that’s about to happen right now.”
(On how much contact he had with Sounders FC before the draft…) “I just had a meeting during the combine. That was the first time I had contact with the club.”
Jimmy Ockford – Sounders FC Defender(On being drafted by Sounders FC…) “It’s unbelievable. It’s crazy just to think. I’ve been working towards this my whole life. I’ve dedicated my life to soccer and the hard work and dedication I put into it, it’s just great that it showed and I got great results from it.”
(On being at the draft with his family…) “I am from the Philadelphia area, so my whole family was here. My friends were all here supporting me and it was great that they were here and were that loud for me. It really made for a nice present.”
(On what he knows about Sounders FC…) “I know it’s a great soccer city and the fans are really dedicated. A lot of fans every game will come out—40,000, which is amazing—and it’s just great to see that.”
(On his playing style…) “I’m hoping I can be a good physical presence coming in. I know there will be a lot of bigger guys, but if I keep working towards that I can do well there. I’ve played midfield and forward, so I’m good with my feet. I’m good in the air, and on set pieces I’ve scored a few goals off corners and free kicks, so I’m looking to score a few goals.”
(On if he had contact with the club prior to the draft…) “Before the combine, I actually got invited to the Sounders invitational combine in Las Vegas, but I did not attend that because of the MLS combine and was looking forward to that. I’d heard good feedback from my two coaches, Ken [Lolla] and Mario [Sanchez], who were in contact with the Sounders. They said nothing but good things that I’ve heard. I met with [Seattle] at the combine, which was good, too. They said they liked the way I play and they like who I am.”
You can follow along with the MLS draft here.