Marcus Tracy (Photo by Getty Images)
UPDATE: The Sounders did not win the Marcus Tracy lottery, but the team that did had similarly long odds of doing so. The San Jose Earthquakes won the lottery, despite a 4.6 percent chance of doing so.
The Seattle Sounders were one of eight teams to enter Thursday's weighted lottery that will decide which teams gets the MLS rights to Marcus Tracy, a former Wake Forest star. The Sounders, who are tied for the third best record over the past 34 games, have just a 2.1 percent chance of winning, according to a league source.
Tracy was once considered a potential Top 5 pick, but instead of entering the 2009 SuperDraft he chose to play in Europe with Denmark's Aalborg BK. At Wake Forest, he won the 2008 Hermann Trophy after a 13-goal, 10-assist season and followed that up with a 11-goal, nine-assist campaign that culminated with the Demon Deacons winning the College Cup. Despite it being well known he was going to Europe, the Houston Dynamo still spent the 55th overall pick on Tracy with the hope that he might head home within two years and they would retain his rights.
In Europe, he started off well enough, appearing in 15 league matches and scoring a pair of goals his first two seasons. But his 2009-10 season was cut short by injuries that continued to dog him during the final year of his contract, leading him back to MLS.
As a general rule of thumb, players who have never signed a MLS contract and lack United States national team experience go through the weighted lottery. For the most part, these players usually sign contract at or near the league minimum and are generally low-risk signings.
If the Sounders were to win the lottery, they'd have a couple of options. One would obviously be keeping the speedy forward and using him to bolster their depth. A potentially more intriguing option might be to trade his rights to a team like the New England Revolution or Philadelphia Union, who both entered the lottery, and try to extract something of more value to them like a veteran player or allocation money.