With Sounders 2, Zach Mathers played as the more attacking of the central midfielders. While with the first team in practices and the friendly, his role was more like a number eight. Just 22, the Duke grad’s future is as a deep-lying playmaker or box-to-box type.
The ranking is based on several hundred Sounder at Heart readers’ votes. Realio rated every single MLS regular season and playoff game as well as the two CONCACAF Champions League matches. He did not rate USL or USOC play.
Zach Mathers 2016
Vision is suitable for an eight at MLS level, though used mostly in the attacking band while with S2. Cannot create space with a dribble. Shots from distance can create enough danger that they should be limited by a defense. Quality long ball that would feature more if positioned deeper in the field. Decent set-piece service with a bit of bend, but best on indirect kicks.
Solid one-on-one defender who can start a press further up field and recover to help when the ball gets deeper. Likely has a future as a six or an eight. Can provide suitable defense on wings. Good outlet on set-pieces. Shouldn’t be in the wall.
Short and plays a bit stocky. Lacks lateral movement and can take a few steps to get to speed. May hold him back from peak performances at a higher level.
Best Case 2017:
Lagerwey announced that Mathers will be competing for first team time in training camp. The MLS squad currently lacks depth in Zach’s best positions and he could become a rotational player backing up Roldan and Alonso.