Photo credit: Dilip Vishwanat, Getty Images
The final day of the MLS combine is Tuesday and the 2011 SuperDraft takes place Thursday. In advance of the action, I wanted to look back at Sounders FC’s seven draft picks to reflect on how the young franchise has done so far. Be sure to offer your thoughts in the comments section…
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M Steve Zakuani (first round, 1st overall pick in 2009) — A slam dunk. Has emerged as perhaps the most dangerous left-sided midfielder in the league. A franchise player and should only get better before possibly making a move back to Europe. Has room to grow but should be a perennial all-star as long as he’s in Major League Soccer.
D Evan Brown (second round, 16th overall pick in 2009) — Waived after the 2009 season, where he didn’t see much playing time as a developmental player. Wasn’t invited back to try out in 2010 as the team wanted him to get playing experience in lower leagues. Last I heard he was with an amateur team called CASL Elite. Also known for this infamous YouTube video.
D Jared Karkas (third round, 31st overall pick in 2009) — Don’t know much about him, unfortunately. He dealt with some hamstring issues in preseason. At one point he left the team, then he rejoined for a couple weeks, then he was waived. Not sure what he’s been up to since.
F/M Mike Fucito (fourth round, 46th overall pick in 2009) — Appears to be a steal now, but it wasn’t the easiest road from his rookie year to being on the team’s protected list for the most recent expansion draft. After being drafted he went back to Harvard to earn his degree. When he came back to the team in summer he had to earn a spot, but he suffered a foot injury after signing a contract and was placed on the DL. He also had dealt with a hamstring injury in preseason. Was waived at the end of the year, but was invited back in 2010 where he impressed enough to earn a roster spot just before the season started. Had the memorable game-winner against Kansas City, which unfortunately was the same game he suffered a complicated knee injury. Provided some spark in the non-MLS games at the end of the year. Showed enough talent and promise to earn much-coveted protection in the expansion draft and will certainly a player to watch in the 2011 season.
M David Estrada (first round, 11th overall pick in 2010) — Thought to be a reach when drafted. Heck, the native of Salinas, Calif., admitted he didn’t think he’d get picked until the later rounds. Had an up and down rookie campaign, and coach Sigi Schmid said he needed to show more consistency. Had some good moments as well and was particularly strong in some reserve games. Could provide a Sanna Nyassi-like spark off the bench in the upcoming season, but he’ll have to earn a spot.
M Michael Seamon (second round, 27th overall pick in 2010) — Another player who went back to college after being drafted to earn his degree. Had some success after he rejoined the team in May, especially pairing with Nathan Sturgis as a second-team central midfield. Remember when the team went young? He was a part of that. Schmid said he hit a bit of a rookie wall in the second half of the season and didn’t have much of an impact in league games at the end.
M/D Jamel Wallace (fourth round, 59th overall pick in 2010) — The San Diego State product was a bit of an unknown for most Sounders FC fans. Never signed and played some games for the Kitsap Pumas. Did spend lots of time training at Starfire with the first team, however, and I assume will garner a preseason invite this year unless other plans have been made.
So what do you think of Sounders FC’s short draft history so far?