The Seattle Sounders are a not a team that is going to simply give away their plans for Thursday's MLS SuperDraft. Head scout Kurt Schmid did talk to the media and provided at least a glimpse into what the Sounders could be looking for, though.
"We try to pick the player who we think is the best player, but if they are equal talent wise we'll pick the guy we need a little more," he said during a conference call on Tuesday. "Getting a good center back would be nice. At the fullback spot we're OK with Leo [Gonzalez] and Deandre [Yedlin]. If we can find another midfielder for depth that would be nice as well."
Schmid also suggested that after the first five or so picks, they expect the level of talent to even out considerably at least until where they are drafting.
It should be said that this was almost exactly what the Sounders were saying ahead of last year's draft, when the they picked a player they projected as a center back (Eriq Zavaleta) and a full back (Dylan Remick) with their first two picks. The decision to trade up for Zavaleta was a decision largely influenced by their belief that he was a Top 5 talent.
Assuming the Sounders remain where they are in the draft -- their top two picks are Nos. 13 and 21 -- most mock drafts seem to suggest there will be plenty of center back talent available to them. Using Jackington's "Mock Draft average position" post as a guide, it would appear that such highly regarded talents as Kyle Venter, Kevin Cope, Grant Van de Casteele and Marco Franco are likely to be available. Damion Lowe, a late addition to Generation adidas, is projected to go just two picks ahead of the Sounders and is another type of player that could fall to them. Washington product Taylor Peay is another center back that would likely be available to them.
To some degree, Schmid said the Sounders have already filled two needs by adding Homegrown Players Sean Okoli and Aaron Kovar, both of whom he felt would have been drafted.
"Sean is a good forward, did well as a target at Wake, three good seasons there, developed his game really well," Schmid said. "He's shown with us a little bit of versatility being able to play in the midfield as well. He's a good prospect. We'd have been happy if we got him in the draft.
"Aaron has done a great job in his two years. When he's come back and trained with us, he's always been an impressive kid in that his coachability is the thing that always impressed itself on me. He's a very, smart logical kid. After discussing his options, we just felt it was a good time to take his game to the next levle with us."