With the 2018 MLS SuperDraft now completed, we break down the three picks made by the Seattle Sounders.
How time flies. This past weekend marked the 10th time the Seattle Sounders have been involved in the MLS SuperDraft.
This year’s event took place in Philadelphia, with Rounds one and two held on Jan. 19. Rounds three and four were held via conference call, on Jan. 21.
There were some interesting selections by the Sounders, with one in particular standing out. Let’s break down each of their three draft picks:
Round 1 (22nd overall) Alex Roldan – midfield
No doubt this was the most intriguing of the trio of picks, given that Alex Roldan joins his brother in Seattle. If the younger sibling comes anywhere close to Cristian in terms of success, the Sounders will be set in midfield for years to come.
Roldan is coming off a senior year where he scored six goals and had a team-best eight assists for the Seattle University Redhawks. At the end of the season, he was named league MVP and earned his second All-WAC First Team selection.
During his four years in college, the 21-year-old helped the Redhawks qualify for the playoffs every season, and win a state championship. In 82 games, he scored 18 goals and added 17 assists.
At 5 ft 10, it’s no secret the Sounders are hoping they’ve found a taller version of Roldan’s older brother. It is a good sign they have a lot of similar attributes, including an excellent work ethic and a level-headed approach to their success.
Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer was asked what he liked most about Roldan’s game. As reported by Soundersfc.com, Schmetzer said:
“He’s a smart player, he’s got the drive and determination that comes with the Roldan family. He’s a technically clean player and tactically astute, so we have high hopes for him. He’s got to measure up to his brother, so that’s going to drive him to become a better player.”
Round 2 (45th overall) Markus Fjortoft – defender
As with Roldan, Markus Fjortoft also has a good family connection. His father, Jan Age, was capped 71 times for Norway — including 10 as captain — and scored 20 goals in the process.
The big difference is Fjortoft plays as a center-back, rather than a forward. In that respect, he has the ideal build for the position, at 6 ft 5 and 205 pounds.
The 24-year-old had four extremely successful years at Duke University. He made an immediate impression, being named as the team’s Rookie of the Year in 2014.
Fjortoft’s importance to the team was undeniable. This was best illustrated by being named team Defensive MVP in both 2016 and 2017.
Vice President of Soccer & General Manager Chris Henderson discussed the young defender after he was selected on Friday. As reported by Danny Ciaccio of Soundersfc.com, Henderson said:
“He had a solid week (at the MLS Combine). He has a good understanding of his positioning. He has good size, he did pretty well in one-on-one defending. He sounded very excited for the opportunity.”
Round 3 (68th overall) Chris Bared – defender
The Sounders’ final pick was made on Sunday, via less fanfare. Regardless, Chris Bared still deserves the recognition of being selected, regardless of the fact it came via a conference call.
Bared played his college football for the Villanova Wildcats and started 16 games this past season. He stands at 5 foot 11 and 160 pounds.
The 21-year-old plays at full back and is particularly strong in attack, with his combination of pace and an ability to create plays. As noted by Dave Clark of Sounderatheart.com, he finished his college career with two goals and five assists.
The likelihood is Bared will spend most of his Sounders career with S2, although it is possible for him to beat the odds. For what it’s worth, he has international experience with Panama as a member of their U17 and U20 World Cup squads.
What is your analysis of the Sounders’ draft picks this year? What kind of success are you predicting for each of the three selections? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.