FRISCO, TX - MAY 09: Jair Benitez #5 of the FC Dallas heads the ball against Cordell Cato #21 of the Seattle Sounders FC at FC Dallas Stadium on May 9, 2012 in Frisco, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Not all of the Sounder at Heart nicknames stick, and this one hasn't, but Cordell Cato still offers some of Katniss. He's speed is so notable (the fire) that many overlook his other skill sets. Cato's passing is best demonstrated by his low, quick crosses at about 20 yards out. His dribble is good enough that he isn't going to give it up often and he reads the game well enough that he generally doesn't push himself past his skill set. At practice today Sounder at Heart chatted with Cato starting by asking how he thinks he's developed since he said he was more than just a pure speed player.
It's really good for me right now. The time that between our talks have helped, in training I feel I've improved a lot. I keep working with the coaches on different aspects of my game. I'm getting comfortable right now being on the field. Whenever they put me in I just do my job, that's the most important thing.
SaH also asked about how he adjusted to playing in a new, unfamiliar country.
At first it was a little difficult. Everything single thing was new - the food, the atmosphere, living. As time goes on I get accustomed to it. Now I'm doing to stuff on my own. It was a little bit easier than everybody said, but I've adapted really well. It's just a mental thing.
Cato is just now 20. The young winger may only have 1 goal with his 3 assists in just over 400 minutes of all competitions play. But he is the only speed guy healthy right now (Estrada will also add this from the bench). With a packed schedule in three competitions coming up a few appearances by the Trinidad and Tobago U23 player should be expected. Maybe he'll get a start against Caledonia AIA from Trinidad to open up CONCACAF Champions League play.
They're a pretty good team back home. The level of play is different between the US and Trinidad. They're going to give it everything they got and put up a fight. It should be a good match.
With a Cup on the horizon and the stretch run starting it's naming season.