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Trialists and youngsters at Reserve Game

The Sounders future of the near and far (and never) took the field Sunday afternoon. Some showed more promise than others.

What are you doing Estrada? You're barely even in this article.
What are you doing Estrada? You're barely even in this article.
USA TODAY Sports

You know, it's really a shame that the Seattle Sounders FC reserve matches aren't better attended. Sure, Starfire can be a pain to get to (the location is so poor that it's the only place I WILLINGLY pay for parking), but there are only a handful of matches each year. There's only two more matches at home this year, after which they could be playing in Phoenix (or worse, Tacoma). Those two games will continue to be free (though donations to local charity are encouraged) and allow fans to get a first look at the future of the first team. DeAndre Yedlin was bringing Starfire alight long before he took the show to the Clink. Attendees of the games have already seen Jordan Morris, a striker with some wonderful tools who could be suiting up in Seattle in a matter of months.

Thanks to the depleted nature of the Sounders roster, a couple of additions were called up for Sunday, including trialists and academy products. These players are the focus of this post, players that could be playing within city limits soon.

Trialists

TheTrialist, CM

A box to box guy who prefered the attacking half, TheTrialist was among the best players on the pitch through the first half (he was substituted for Jose Ramos at the half). The player demonstrated good vision and some ball dispossession ability, and had some well weighted passes into good positions. He was able to facilitate the players around him, which was nice to see from a Sounders center midfielder. That said, he was playing against mostly reserve players. I'm not convinced he would be as effective as he seemed against MLS competition. He was willing to be aggressive and fight for the ball, so physicality wasn't a problem. He did have some intercepted passes though, including at least one that seemed like a sure interception even before it was kicked. If the Sounders are looking for midfield depth, this guy could be an answer. I don't think he's a future starter in the vein of Mauro Rosales, however.

Speaking of Rosales, TheTrialist did have one thing in common with the player that once donned that moniker. This TheTrialist had a knack for the corner kick. The Sounders won quite a number of them in the first half, and I don't think there was a dud among the arsenal TheTrialist unleashed. Many found a Rave Green head within a few yards of the face of goal, and minor deflections could have resulted in celebrations. The lack of set piece scoring seemed more a fault of the receivers than of the deliverer.

With a limited number of Discovery Claims that can be made in a year teams will use unnamed trialists in order to gain a look at a player prior to submitting a claim.

Seth Moses, RB - previously at SCR Altach

The first half was a rough one for Mr. Moses. He seemed to be out of position frequently, and more than half of Colorado's early attacks were down his side. You can see in the highlight reel below: On Colorado's second goal, he is scrambling to get into position to defend the player, but over pursues and isn't able to contest a very good shot on goal. Both he and Remick on the other side were eager to push forward, even more so than the first team. The second half went far better for the player though, where his speed began to shine. Almost as a matter of confidence, he was suddenly more effective challenging Rapids players with the ball. He was still occasionally out of position, but he was close enough that he could come back and win the ball or make life difficult for the offense. The first half Moses isn't worth much, but the second half Moses would be an interesting backup for Yedlin, with many of the same talents.

Sean Cunningham, CB - previously at Molde

Cunningham's game was difficult to judge. He was one of the goal scorers, and it was a quality (deflected?) shot that tied the game up. However, Seattle's defense was an issue for most of the night, and it wasn't always clear whose position was left unfilled. Cunningham's batterymate Patrick Ianni was active in the attack (not a great sign) and you'd think that with both fullbacks playing forward, that Cunningham would play deeper than most. That didn't seem to be the case. At times it was difficult to distinguish him from the packed midfield, where he scored his goal from. Cunningham seemed to be able to handle the ball well in tight spaces, but otherwise I can't say much about his performance.

Doug Herrick, G

Herrick isn't actually a Trialist, but rather a league pool keeper spending time with the team while the Sounders deal with the injury bug. The stat line says he allowed three goals, but a cursory look at the highlights shows that two of those were great shots and the third was just him getting left out to dry. He had more than one nice save, though those were offset by the perplexing decision to come some 30+ yards off his line to confront a streaking Colorado player behind the defense. Herrick whiffed/was juked, and was incredibly lucky that the player (instead of dribbling in or passing off to a wide open teammate) took the long shot that sailed away into the sunset.

Draft Picks

Eriq Zavaleta, F

The player of the match for the Sounders was a forward that didn't even get on the score sheet. Zavaleta picked up where he left off on Saturday and harassed the back line of the Rapids reserves for the 70-some minutes he played. He had the speed to beat the offside trap and the size and body control to collect balls he had no business collecting. The Sounders' best, most consistent play involved Ianni punting it deep down the field and waiting for Zavaleta to get into position (which he did with startling frequency). From there he either took a shot or passed it off to a teammate, rarely giving the ball away either from his feet or on the pass. He also worked well with Sammy Ochoa, who was springing players all day long with good balls over the top, and with David Estrada. You can call that pairing Eriq Estrada.

Dylan Remick, LB

Dylan Remick was just as active on offense as any of the midfielders. The guy was up and down the left sideline all game long, with a strong work rate. His crossing wasn't great, and he had a difficult time creating separation in the final third. In general, he seemed to defend his side of the field well, and I'm not sure the Mwanga goal can be accredited to him. He has the potential to be a starter in the future, and deserves the bench spots he has been finding lately. Right now though, he is like any young player in that he has things to work on.

Academy

Duncan McCormick, CM

To be honest, McCormick did not register on the radar much. That may be my fault more than his, but I don't recall any special plays involving him. TheTrialist sucked up a lot of the action in the middle of the field. Some of you were at the match, so let me know if you saw more of McCormick's game.

Henry Wingo, F

Wingo was only on the pitch for 30 minutes or so, but that's all it took to get on the board. He did what you want a forward to do on such a play; gain position in the box to receive a pass, and just put a toe on it to deflect it into the goal. Another fast bugger. If the skills he displayed on the goal are indicative of the whole package, he'll be a player to keep an eye on.


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