I have referred to these two as Substitutes in my tiering of Starter, Rotational, Substitute and Reserves, but honestly, Nathan Sturgis likely belongs here as well. All three are almost always on the available bench, but rarely see time. In Sanna's case he is still quite young, just entering the years where he would make or break in the US system. Wahl just finished his fourth year as a professional and is about to enter the prime of a defensive player.
Now we also start to enter the territory of likely pickups for Philadelphia Union as both are young, fairly talented, and inexpensive.
Tyson Wahl: Developed as a centerback in college and the pros Wahl was drafted into duty as a Left Back as the club continued to look for the answer there. Tall for a fullback in MLS, he was not the answer for a balanced version of Sigi's system as he did not get forward very well. He was decent at applying defensive pressure to the centerline, and even drifted up there at times in the attack. His powerful long passes did make him a useful outlet when Zakuani, et al, were pressured, but the punts weren't necessarily accurate.
He was though probably the second best defensive player (Scott) of the Scott, Sturgis, Wahl hydra, as well as the second best offensive to Sturgis. This lead him to getting 9 starts and 2 sub appearances of significant minutes. In that time we saw a player that was not fast, but who read a match well and was generally in the right position. He gave up a little more space when his man had the ball, but didn't get beat on the dribble. Tyson had +1 (+0.10 per 90), and so was properly considered cover for the Left Back role, and likely at Center Back as well.
Expectation for 2010 - Unprotected for Expansion Draft. Resigned by Seattle. Invited to training camp and making the roster. 10% chance taken by Philly
Short Term Peak - Rotational Left back in League and non-League play.
Sanna Nyassi: The young man lives and dies by his speed. It impressed the Sounders faithful when he was loaned to the USL Sounders, and frustrated many with the MLS club as he seemed to be a one note song. Sigi tried to find a role for Nyassi early in the season using him as a Right Mid (4 times), Left Mid (3), Center Attacking Mid 2) and Withdrawn Forward (2). None of these worked particularly well, as Nyassi did not make the right runs off the ball, and does not have the passing nor foot skills to deal with pressure.
In the USL game he could be a target man for the punt and just outrun, and his footwork was good enough. The next stesp in MLS will have to come with technical on-ball footwork, or better vision on the pass. In the 2nd leg versus Houston too often he tried to dribble through defenders but only wound up dribbling into them. There is no other player who would benefit more from a Reserve League than Sanna Nyassi. Just a +/- of +1 as well, but with a +0.30 per 90 his was the lowest of the pure attacking players. Sanna did not figure into the boxscore of league play, but his Open Cup performance did earn him a 0.53 Productivity number from his 1 Goal and 2 Assists against other sides reserve players.
Expectation for 2010 - Unprotected for Expansion Draft. Resigned by Seattle. Invited to training camp and making the roster. 1% chance taken by Philly as they would have to bump him to a Senior slot
Short Term Peak - Rotational Winger in League and non-League play.
Other profiles can be viewed at the links below
Thoughts on whether you want to see Sanna or Tyson back next year?