MLS SuperDraft Recap: Seattle Sounders
It has been several days since the 2015 edition of the MLS SuperDraft took place, in which 21 teams took to the college athletes to secure the top future talent.
With the additions of New York City FC and Orlando City FC into the MLS, this was a momentous draft in terms of all of the new players coming in to the leage. The Seattle Sounders, with low picks, surprisingly came out with more than was expected from their draft positions. They made many trades to shift their position throughout the selections.
Here is a recap of all of the new Sounders:
Cristian Roldan, Midfielder (University of Washington) - Pick #16 (First Round)
Coming into this draft, local talent Cristian Roldan was expected to be a top 5 pick, and his performance at the collegeiate level certainly warranted the high ranking. Only a sophomore last season, Roldan earned NSCAA 3rd Team All-America Honors, proving his ability amongst the best players in college soccer. He was also named All Pac-12 first team, in a league with many competitive players. In 19 games, of which he started 17, he scored only 3 goals and 2 assists; however, his contribution in the midfield proved to be quite impressive. As a freshman at the University of Washington, he was named the Soccer America National Freshman of the Year (as well as Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and All Pac-12 First Team) and started all 22 games, scoring 7 goals and contributing 5 assists. A shorter player, standing at 5-foot-8, he is not afraid to put his body on the line and take some physical hits in the middle of the field.
Tyler Miller, Goalkeeper (Northwestern University) - Pick #33 (Second Round)
A risky pick considering Miller is expected to test the overseas market (particularly in Germany) and he may not start his career with the Sounders, the team still expects him to be a good pick looking towards the future. The wait may definitely be worth it, as Miller stands at a menacing 6-foot-4 and commands the goal. The reigning Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year, he was also a unanimous selection to the All-Big Ten First Team as well as the All-America Second Team. With 9 shutouts in his senior year as well as a superb 0.56 goals against average, Tyler Miller should provide a solid contibution no matter where he ends up playing in the future.
Oniel Fisher, Defender/Midfielder (University of New Mexico) - Pick #40 (Second Round)
Fisher is one of the most versatile players in the draft, and he proved it in college as well as in the MLS Combine. Throughout his collegiate career at the University of New Mexico, he moved around a lot, yet his position was considered to be in the defense. However, at the MLS Combine, he excelled in the backline, especially in the right back position which the Sounders needed to fill with DeAndre Yedlin's departure to the Premier League. As a senior at New Mexico, Fisher scored 3 goals and had 1 assist. He is also a member of the Jamaica National Football Team, which he has been a part of since 2010. Fisher should provide some stability in the right back position once he gets used to the Sounders' system, and he seems like a great pick considering his versatility.
Andy Craven, Forward (University of North Carolina) - Pick #48 (Third Round)
One of the top seniors in all of collegiate soccer, Craven as well as the Sounders were surprised at how far he fell, and the team snatched him up as quickly as they could once the third round started. A forward who likes to attack the goal, Craven tallied 15 goals and 5 assists in his senior season, leading North Carolina to the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament. The 15 goals were tied for tops in NCAA Division 1 soccer, a statistic that the Sounders hope continues with him into the MLS. He also gained a spot on the All-NSCAA First-Team and showed that he could play with the top players in college football. Expect him to be a scoring threat whenever he steps on the pitch.
Charlie Lyon, Goalkeeper (Marquette University) - Pick #75 (Fourth Round)
Yet another senior, out of Marquette University, as well as the second goalkeeper selected by the Sounders in the draft, Lyon was a sure-fire goal-stopper in college, posting career averages of 0.83 goals against average and a .811 save percentage. He now holds the Marquette school records for goals against average as well as shutouts. In 2014, he was the Co-Big East Goalkeeper of the Year, and was consistently productive in his years at Marquette. At 6-foot-2, he should be imposing in the goal and his shutout statistics are impressive as well - he owns the 10th longest streak of shutouts in NCAA Division 1 history.
Andrew Bevin, Forward (West Virginia) - Pick #80 (Fourth Round)
The second senior forward selected in the later rounds of the draft, Bevin a native of New Zealand, scored 13 goals and had 8 assists at West Virginia, tallying a total of 31 goals and 17 assists throughout his collegiate career. Though not a big body up front, standing at only 5-foot-9, he fights for every goal. As a senior, he was ranked as the number 1 player in the Mid-American conference and should be competitive in a spot on the squad.