Zavaleta during early preseason - Jane G Photography
With injuries and national calls Eriq Zavaleta may see time in the 18 for the 7:30 PM match Saturday against the San Jose Earthquakes.
Eriq Zavaleta made the 18 for the first match of the year, but at that time he was mainly practicing as a defender. Recently that has shifted to being a forward, including his play with the Sounders Reserves. With Seattle's big name forwards away on national team duty this may be Zavaleta's best chance in the early season to get First Team time.
"I think that we're obviously a really front loaded team. We've got a lot of good players with a lot of experience and talent, but we also have a lot of depth. I think we've got players that no matter who is out or who is in can keep the level up," Zavaleta down played the idea that time could be his. "I'm getting better every day. I'm trying make myself one of the guys that can step in and follow in the path of guys that have already put their mark on this program."
But the team could need him at forward, a position with which he is reacquainting himself. The team has only two natural forwards after the call-ups and the midfield's depth (where Sigi has pulled men up in the past) is hurt by Martinez' call and injury concerns with Evans and Joseph.
"It's hard to go from front to back and back to front. I've kind of settled up top here in the past couple of weeks. I'm working on getting better up top," the forward/defender said. "It's something I'm comfortable with because I've been there the past couple of years. It's not really an adjustment for me, but rather an adjustment because of the speed of play, the level and the physicality."
If you follow Zavaleta on twitter you probably noticed that he's also excited for Indiana. He won the College Cup with the Hoosiers last year and is excited to see his friends on the men's basketball team back where it was so many times in the past.
"It's been a long time since they've gotten a number one seed. So I'm excited for them to be favorites and maybe pull it out," he said with Hoosier pride. "I've been watching them since I was a little kid since I'm from Indiana. It's exciting to see them back at the stage they are at. Having a lot of friends on the team helps to be excited for them. I know they want to bring back Indiana to the prominence that the fans want them to be at too."
In another NCAA note - Carrasco and Neagle's alma mater's face off in first round action.