After the MLS Supplemental Draft, coach Sigi Schmid gave this rundown on a couple of the club’s five selections:
“Moloto is a young South African who has done well in the NAIA and somebody whose 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…. 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.”
Both of those got my curiosity, and today I was able to meet both players.
I especially wanted to ask Rex what he made of the Levesque comparison.
“After he said that I went ahead and looked him up,” Rex said. “That’s fine. If I can be compared to one of the great Sounders, that’s fine by me. Hopefully I can have as big of an impact as he did.”
Both seem like good guys, and here’s more of what they had to say:
On his start of champ: I feel like I’m doing pretty well. It’s definitely a whirlwind start and just the day after I was told I was coming out I had to fly out. I had to get everything together. It took a few days to get comfortable with the guys, but I feel like every day I’m getting more comfortable with them. Hopefully I can show what I got.
On finishing fifth on team in 30-meter sprint: I think that’s a big part of the game: being fit. If you can get the base level of fitness, and the playing comes after that.
On his thoughts going into the draft: It’s obviously nice to hear your name called. But going in you don’t have any expectations. I came out to the Seattle combine in Las Vegas, so I had the most contact with Seattle. I knew I wasn’t going to go in the SuperDraft, but watching the Supplemental it was up in the air. I felt like my best chance was probably with Seattle just because they gave me the time of day. I felt like they were the team that was the most interested.
On his start of camp: I missed the beep test and we had a day off yesterday. So I came here in the morning trying to get some work done. I’m trying to catch up with the team.
His thoughts going into the draft: To be honest, I was just hoping I would get drafted. It didn’t have to be Supplemental Draft or SuperDraft, as long as I get a chance to go to a team and prove myself, I would appreciate that. Seattle Sounders saw my potential. So I’m very thankful they gave me that opportunity.
On when he left South Africa: I was 16. I’ve been gone for a while. … My coach from Lindsey Wilson (College) came down to Capetown … there was an international tournament and he saw me play there and he gave me a scholarship opportunity that I couldn’t reject. It has been a good four years for me, school and soccer-wise. I’m grateful that I came to the U.S.
On the jump from a small college to MLS: At the end of the day it’s all about game time and you’re trying to catch up with the guys. I pretty much understand the standard of college and professional is kind of different. As long as I get some gametime and the coaches tell me what they need from me, what I need to do and all that, I think I’ll be in good shape.