By John Boyle Herald Writer
TUKWILA — Sounders FC added five players in Major League Soccer supplemental draft, and while no one coming into the league as a supplemental pick is a lock to make a roster, let alone an immediate impact, Seattle’s front office likes the talent it acquired Tuesday morning.
Seattle took Will Bates, a forward from Virginia, with the No. 5 pick — the supplemental draft follows last week’s two-round MLS SuperDraft — which was acquired in the offseason trade that sent defender Jeff Parke to Philadelphia.
Sounders FC used its other first-round pick on Kevin Durr, a midfielder from the Air Force Academy. In rounds two through four, Seattle drafted Kevin Olali, a midfielder from South Florida, Lebogang Moloto, a midfielder from Lindsey Wilson College, a NAIA school in Kentucky, and Jennings Rex, a forward from UNC Charlotte.
In MLS more than other American sports, rosters are built largely through avenues other than collegiate drafts, but that doesn’t mean late-round success stories are unheard of. Parke, Seattle’s best defender last season, was the last pick in 2004 when the SuperDraft was a four-round process. Just last season, Seattle added midfielder Andy Rose in the supplemental draft, and he appeared in 23 regular-season games as a rookie, starting 11.
“There’s definitely talent,” Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid said. “Now it’s called the supplemental draft; before it used to be a four-round (SuperDraft). … You never know who’s going to come through and pan out in the very end.”
Bates, who scored 46 goals in his four years at Virginia, may have been picked in last week’s SuperDraft if not for concerns about a knee injury. Schmid admitted there was risk in taking Bates, but the hope is that he can be a productive player following meniscus surgery.
Durr’s immediate availability is also a question mark because of possible military obligations, Schmid said, but has upside. Durr grew up in Germany and played in the youth systems of some of Germany’s top clubs.
Olali recorded four goals and eight assists in 76 appearances during a four-year career at South Florida, and was a member of the U.S. U-17 National Team. Schmid described Olali as an impressive wing player who stood out at the team’s rookie combine in Las Vegas. Moloto, who is from South Africa, was named an NAIA All-American in each of his two seasons at Lindsey Wilson. Schmid described Rex as a forward who runs all over the place, comparing him to former Sounders fan-favorite Roger Levesque.
Herald Writer John Boyle: firstname.lastname@example.org.