Defensive Depth Addressed In SuperDraft For Seattle Sounders FC

By Matthew Evans
Adrian Hanauer
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Sounders FC general manager Adrian Hanauer, Sigi Schmid and company addressed their defensive depth need by selecting two defenders in the first two rounds of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft on Thursday from the Philadelphia Convention Center.

Seattle held the eighth pick in the draft after the trade with the Chicago Fire yesterday and it seemed as though they may not make the pick originally. It was reported that the Sounders were in talks with the New England Revolution to trade for the Revs pick Steve Neumann, but the talks apparently fell through and Seattle selected defender Damion Lowe out of the University of Hartford.

Lowe is 20 years old and is a member of Generation Adidas, which means he will not count against the salary cap in 2014. He also stands 6-foot-3 and “has some raw talent, physicality and toughness,” according to my colleague Phil Naegely, who was not only covering the SuperDraft today but also watched Lowe play this past summer with Reading United.

The Sounders found themselves up again with the second pick in the second round, again selecting a defender in Jimmy Ockford out of the University of Louisville. Ockford, being from the Philadelphia area, had a cheering section of family and friends with him as his name was called.

At 21 years old, Ockford stands 6-foot-1 and is described as an old-fashioned center back who Schmid compared to a “young Zach Scott.” A plus for the Sounders is that he also played for Reading United and already has some chemistry with Lowe. Which will be great to build on in the future for the Rave Green.

The fact that Seattle went with defensive picks on Thursday really is not a surprise when you consider that the club just signed two more attacking home-grown players in Sean Okoli and Aaron Kovar earlier this week. The moves likely mean that Seattle will focus Eriq Zavaleta as a forward now that they have some young depth on the back-line.

Both players sounded very excited to join the club for preseason and who could blame them? It’s not everyday that a young soccer player gets to train with and learn from a teammate who has won the UEFA Champions League like Djimi Traore.

Matthew Evans is a soccer writer for, “Like” him on Facebook, Follow him on Twitter, or add him to your network on Google

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