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Top pick eager to help at forward or centerback; Schmid says he’s leaning toward back line

Post by Don Ruiz / The News Tribune on Jan. 17, 2013 at 11:08 am with No Comments »
January 17, 2013 11:31 am

We just got a few minutes of conference call time with Sounders’ first-round SuperDraft pick Eriq Zavaleta. Sigi Schmid says top pick’s future up front or on back line yet to be determined… but is might currently like him better in the back.

Here’s Zavaleta’s overview reaction to how things have played out so far:

I wasn’t exactly sure how this draft was going to go. I knew that this was going to be one of the crazier ones in years as far as trades go. You never know where you’re going to land, but I had a very, very, very good meetings at the combine with Seattle and with Sigi and the coaching staff. I knew of their interest, and I let them know how honored I would be to be a part of the Sounders’ organization, and for them to be able to trade up for me at 10 was a dream come true.

On if he knows Sounders plan for him positionally) I think there’s a hint, but I think I’m going to go into training camp and try to fill a need on the team and show myself at both positions and I’m sure that will be solved here in the coming weeks. Right now I’m just excited to get there and to work hard at whatever position they play me.

On if he’s disappointed to go No. 10) No. The number doesn’t matter to me. Wherever I went, I just wanted to go to a great organization. I couldn’t have got picked by a better one. What really matters is where I went, and this is a perfect place for me. Going one or going 10 doesn’t matter because I know I’ve got to prove myself on the field. You don’t make yourself on draft day: you make yourself on the field, and I’m ready to go prove myself.

Among the highlights, he said:

* can play forward or centerback. He says he will play whever Sounders think he can help most.

* his strengths are size, versatility and his ability in the air and with the ball at his feet.

* being taken 10th overall wasn’t a disappointment; the more important thing was going to a good team/organization.

* doesn’t know much about Seattle, but seems well aware of Sounders’ fan base.

* watched Roger Levesque’s scuba-dive goal celebration, and has copied it.

* it is important to him to complete his degree at Indiana (he’s a sophomore), but said he will be in camp with his new club next week.

Will be back soon with more from the player and Sounders front office.

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