Sounders FC’s first pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft was Hartford defender Damion Lowe.
He was selected No. 8 overall, the second-highest pick in franchise history. Lowe, 20, is a member of Generation adidas, meaning he won’t count against the salary cap in 2014.
“It’s an honor to be here,” Lowe said on a conference call. “It’s a dream come true. Words can’t explain how great I feel right now.”
The 6-foot-3 Jamaican adds depth to a center-back position after the Sounders traded Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Patrick Ianni to Chicago on Wednesday.
Here are some highlights (he also made the SportsCenter Top 10 plays last season):
* * *
(How does it feel to join the Sounders? And did you have any indication you’d be coming here to start your career?) “Yeah, with the coaches, I interviewed and got some good feedback. I kind of had a feeling I was going to land here. Then I saw the trades and some spots opening up, and I was like, ‘All right, it’s Seattle. Definitely.’ It’s an honor. It’s an honor to be here. It’s a dream come true. Words can’t explain how great I feel right now because I’ve made a lot of people proud. In my life, I’ve been through ups and downs. I come from a place where not many people become successful or fulfill their dreams. I’m just glad for this great, great opportunity and I’m looking forward to great things back in Seattle.”
(Were there any particular down moments you’re referring to?) “I’ve been through injuries and stuff like that. Back home, I’m from a community where basically it’s the ghetto — gunshots, crime boiling, turf wars. The community stays there because not many people from my community become as successful and fulfill their dream. Right now, I’m my family’s bread winner, so it’s just a dream come true. I have a lot of people that are proud of me right now, especially in my community back home.”
(How would you describe yourself?) “Off the field, I’m pretty humble and soft spoken. I like to get along with people and have fun. On the field, I’m a warrior. I’m a winner. I’m hard. I’m a leader.”
(Do you have any history with former Sounder Tyrone Marshall?) “Yeah, I’ve met with Tyrone Marshall. My dad played with him, so I was around the national team for a bit as a kid. I saw him at the combine, also. He wished me luck. I guess luck has finally come my way.”
(We saw there were three Jamaican players drafted in the first eight picks. Do you know Andre Blake or Andrew Lewis?) “Definitely. Andre Blake played at my club back home — Harbour View FC. I played U-20 World Cup qualifiers with Andre Lewis. I played against both of them in club soccer, also. I played against Andre Blake at UConn when I was at Hartford in preseason games and stuff like that. We know each other pretty well.”
(Is there a sense of pride among the Jamaican players coming into MLS so highly rated?) “Definitely. You want to come in and make an impact — make our country proud, make our relatives proud back home — because Jamaica is known for good quality players. Not many players get the opportunity to make it to the next level. Knowing that we have this opportunity, we want to take it with both hands and run with it and create a storm in MLS. We want to do great things.”
(Do you much about the city of Seattle or Sounders FC?) “No, not much. I just know that the fan base is pretty huge. It’s a great city. I’ll call it home right now because it’s my new home. I just have to get used to everything. I have to work hard and adapt to everything that’s about to happen right now.”
(How much contact did you have with Sounders FC before the draft?) “I just had a meeting during the (MLS) combine. That was the first time I had contact with the Sounders. That was pretty much it.”