Here is coach Sigi Schmid’s overview on the Sounders’ two SuperDraft picks today: defender/forward Eriq Zavaleta and left back Dylan Remick.
Obviously we’re pleased. We had Eriq in the top four on our list and Dylan Remick was the left back – he can also play a little center back – but as a left back he was No. 1 on our list as well. So we were happy to be able to get him as late as we did. With Eriq it was really a situation of trading up into the top five or six picks was too costly, but then when the eighth pick was made and he still hadn’t been picked, we started looking around and saying, hey maybe there’s a trade to be made here, maybe we don’t have to give up a ton to be able to move up those six spots, which we were able to do. And to be able to get Eriq then was definitely a nice surprise for us.
On Zavaleta’s top position: At the end of the day, maybe where he’s going to be able to achieve the maximum is as a defender. But he certainly has played the last years as an attacking player and he scored I think 28 goals in those two years or 30 goals in those two years, which is not bad. So I think he has that as well. We’re going to go through training. We’re going to see what our needs are for this year. We’ll talk a little bit. We’ve already talked once with him when we interviewed him, but we’ll talk as training goes on and figure it out and try and do what’s best for him and his future. I’ve had good success talking players – Chris Albright was a forward in college, moved him to outside back, and he ended up playing on the World Cup team. Eriq’s uncle – Greg Vanney – came to me at UCLA as an attacking midfielder and he went back to left bck and he ended up playing for the national team and playing as a defender. So there’s some history for it. Eriq’s father played as central defender, and his father feels that’s his best position as well. So we’ll see. We’ll see how it goes in training.
On if Zavaleta can contribute as a rookie: He’s a smart player. His positional play is very good. He understands — we lost Jeff Parke obviously, so getting some defensive cover, some defensive help was important for us – and he has the intelligence that he can step on and play. Plus the other thing is having played so much as a forward, his passing and his ability on the ball is very good, if he ends up playing defense. So he’s a guy who can hit good passes out of the back, who finds people, who’s comfortable with the ball at his feet. And that’s always a plus as well if you play defender. I think we’re going to have some good moments with him.
On Remick: We were definitely surprised because we had in rated as the best left back in the combine. We first noticed him at our combine in Vegas, so that gave us a little bit of a head start on him. We thought he was very good there, he was very solid, not the kind of player that is flashy and is going to knock your socks off, but a player that just takes care of his job. His athleticism, I think, was a plus because not only can he play on the outside, but he can also play inside if need be. He can certainly get up and down the line. He likes to get forward. Brown’s not known as an offensive powerhouse, so if you’re an outside back and you get seven assists, you’re probably doing pretty good. … He’s a good personality, good kid, good athlete and a very good soccer player.
Here’s general manager ADRIAN HANAUER takling about parting with some allocation money sent to Toronto as part of moving up to No. 10 from 16:
We felt as though Eriq was a player that we coveted enough that it was worth maybe sacrificing a tiny bit somewhere else, if it came down to it, by shipping off the allocation money. And … we’re working on some potential other transactions that could bring more allocation money. So we wouldn’t have done it if we felt it was going to affect the overall finished product of a roster. But at the same time, I’d be lying if I said every time you ship off allocation money it doesn’t make things slightly more complicated and challenging, because you just don’t have that luxury of a bank of money to pay down salaries.