Sounders’ 2 picks will stick, at least for now

roster still in flux: Schmid hints other moves could happen

DON RUIZ; Staff writerMarch 2, 2012 

Sounders FC made a pair of roster moves Thursday, signing 2012 SuperDraft picks Andrew Duran and Babayele Sodade.

Neither seems likely to draw significant playing time soon, but each was overjoyed to have cleared this early hurdle on their way to a professional career.

“I’ve been waiting for this my whole life,” Sodade said. “It’s every soccer player’s dream growing up. You see everyone on TV, (it’s) like: ‘I want to be just like them.’ Now I get to be one of those guys that kids want to be like and think, ‘I want to be just like him.’ So, it feels great. It feels amazing.”

Sodade, 21, is a forward taken with the 34th overall pick after a college career at Alabama Birmingham. He said he will travel to Florida at mid-month to compete for a spot on the Canadian Olympic team.

Duran, 22, is a defender taken with the 15th pick after playing at Creighton.

“I thought Duran got better as we went on. … I thought he became more and more consistent, and that was something that we were looking for,” coach Sigi Schmid said.

“And then with Sodade, he just offers us something different than we have in our other forwards. We feel he is still capable of improving and learning and adding to his game.”

Duran said that even as the Sounders’ top pick, he wasn’t certain that he would be offered a contract until he was informed a couple of days ago.

“You’re here all preseason just on a whim and a hope,” he said. “You just have to play that way, like you’re on the team. I wasn’t overly confident, but you have to play with some confidence to make the team, and I thought that helped me.”

The signings were announced on the day that all MLS rosters had to be brought into roster compliance. That means that the players under contract on a club’s official roster must meet MLS roster guidelines.

It does not mean that the roster is set, and Schmid added that the Sounders’ roster isn’t.

“I think we’re getting close,” he said. “There still might be some subtractions – yeah, for sure. There are still some things in the works right now. … We have some openings still to sign some people, and still have to make some final resolutions on some other people.”

ADDED TIME

MLSsoccer.com’s Simon Borg reported Thursday that commissioner Don Garber said the Sounders will open all seating sections of CenturyLink Field for its Cascadia Cup home matches against Portland and Vancouver. Sounders FC did not confirm the report. … Sounders who didn’t play significant minutes in the 2-0 friendly win against Jaguares de Chiapas on Wednesday took part in a 75-minute scrimmage Thursday at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila. “It was good for them to get a run,” Schmid said. “In terms of maintaining their fitness, I thought it was important.”

Don Ruiz, 253-597-8808 don.ruiz@thenewstribune.com twitter/donruiztnt blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer

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