Sounders FC made five picks in today’s Supplemental Draft, hoping they got lucky amid some players with both flaws and potential.
“There are always a lot of players in there that teams for various reasons feel this guy might have success or not have success,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “We were happy with the guys we picked. They were guys we had scouted or we had seen either in games or through our combine and feel that there’s something there. So now you’ve got to bring them in and see how that develops.”
The new Sounders are Will Bates, a forward from Virginia; Kevin Durr, a midfielder from the Air Force Academy; Kevin Olali, a midfielder from South Florida; Lebogang Moloto, a midfielder from Lindsey Wilson College; and Jennings Rex, a midfielder/forward from UNC Charlotte.
Here is what Schmid had to say about the group: “Bates is a player who scored almost as many goals in four years as Finley did at Notre Dame, and he fell a little bit because he had some knee issues there. He’s going to have a knee surgery for his meniscus, so there is a little bit of a risk. But we feel if that goes well we’ve got ourselves a good player. But he won’t be here in the immediate future, so we’ve got to see about him. And then Kevin Durr is in the Air Force Academy, so with him we’ve got to talk and see how that whole thing works. We think he’s a good player. His background was he grew up in Germany. He played for Bayern Leverkusen’s youth, he played for Bayern Munich’s youth teams. Unsolicited from other coaches, they would say, ‘Hey, there’s a good player there.’ Air Force guys can play pro. He has to work that out and talk about things, but it’s something he’s interested in doing. Moloto is a young South African who has done well in the NAIA and somebody who’s stock probably fell going into the draft. Everybody felt he was going to be a first or second rounder. His stock fell a little bit. Olali is a wide player who was impressive in our combine. He’s a winger, he can go at people. And then Jennings Rex, he’s just a forward that runs all over the place. As somebody said, ‘He could be Roger Levesque; we’re not sure.”
Here’s the news release from the club:
Seattle Sounders FC selected five players in Tuesday’s Major League Soccer Supplemental Draft.
Forward Will Bates of the University of Virginia was taken with Seattle’s top pick (5th overall) and midfielder Kevin Durr of the Air Force Academy was chosen with its second pick in the first round (16th overall). Seattle selected University of South Florida midfielder Kevin Olali in the second round (35th overall), midfielder Lebogang Moloto from Lindsey Wilson College in the third round (54th overall) and University of North Carolina-Charlotte forward Jennings Rex in the fourth round (73rd overall).
“We feel very good about our selections in today’s supplemental draft,” said Sporting Director Chris Henderson. “We were able to add three midfielders and two forwards who we evaluated at the MLS combine and our own combine in Las Vegas. They are all players that we ranked pretty high at their respective position, and we hope can contribute to our club.”
Bates, 21, appeared in 77 matches over four seasons at Virginia, tallying 46 goals with 10 assists. He finished his collegiate career as the seventh leading goal scorer in school history, tied for third with 15 game-winning goals and finished ninth in career points (102). Bates was a member of the U.S. U-20 National Team and he was named to the 2012 MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List.
Durr, 21, was a first-team All-MPSF (Mountain Pacific Sports Foundation) in his final three years at the Air Force Academy. He started all 77 matches in his four-year collegiate career, scoring 18 goals with 19 assists.
Olali, 22, played four seasons at South Florida where he recorded four goals and eight assists in 76 appearances. Olali was a member of the U.S. U-17 National Team.
Moloto, 20, played two seasons at Lindsey Wilson College in Kentucky. He scored 15 goals with seven assists in 39 career games, including six game-winning goals. Moloto was named the NAIA National Championship Most Outstanding Offensive Player as a freshman, and earned NAIA All-American honors each season.
Prior to the supplemental draft, Sounders FC had selected two players in the MLS SuperDraft on January 17.
The season begins March 2 when Sounders FC will host the Montreal Impact on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field.
Sounders FC 2013 MLS Supplemental Draft Selections
1st Round, 5th Pick, 5th Overall
Hometown (Citizenship): Chester, Virginia (USA)
College: University of Virginia
High School: Thomas Dale HS
1st Round, 16th Pick, 16th Overall
Hometown (Citizenship): Garmisch, Germany (USA)
College: Air Force Academy
High School: Munich International School
2nd Round, 16th Pick, 35th Overall
Hometown (Citizenship): Plano, Texas (USA)
College: University of South Florida
High School: Plano East HS
3rd Round, 16th Pick, 54th Overall
Hometown (Citizenship): Polokwane, South Africa (South African)
College: Lindsey Wilson College
Pronunciation: Lay-bow-gang Meh-low-toe
4th Round, 16th Pick, 73rd Overall
Hometown (Citizenship): Boone, North Carolina (USA)
High School: Watuga HS