Watching Jimmy Ockford in defense it is easy to forget that it wasn't until 2013 with Louisville in his senior year that he wasn't an attacking player. Now, just three seasons into the role as centerback the Seattle Sounders are seeing a player rise to the level where they can count on his presence on the bench. Rather than an over-30 in that final defensive bench spot they can use Jimmy as a CB, RB and in a pinch a defense only LB.
Rank: 27 | Age: 23 | Starts: 3 | Appearances: 3 for 161 minutes | Bench: 11 (all comps 1st team)
Probably the heir apparent to Zach Scott's target role on attacking set pieces. Showed that he can beat both USL and NASL keepers. Ockford is not a great passer, either short or long, so needs a mid or fullback around to keep things simple.
He has the best situational awareness of the young defenders. Is capable of filling in across the backline defensively, but will not add to the attack. Strong on-ball defense, that is not broken down through simple moves.
Bulky and sturdy, Jimmy has enough lateral speed for the role, but is the type to use force rather than quickness. Good leaper who can win balls through height and positioning.
Best Case 2016:
Ockford should be a regular in the 18 with spot starts, particularly early in the season while Torres is out. His positional flexibility should keep him on the MLS roster throughout the season.