Hi guys, we have a lot of new and returning faces to the team lately. If you always wondered how to spell or pronounce a player's name, this is the article for you! As a bonus, I attempted to give some background including area of origin and some facts you might not be aware of about YOUR favorite Sounders players.
Stefan Frei (STEF-in FRY)
He has cool tattoos and sometimes a mohawky skullet thing. He is Swiss meaning he likes cheese and remaining neutral. He plays goalie, and is damn good at it. Favorite breakfast food is Dom Dwyer. But seriously, if you haven't seen his back tattoo ROCK ON.
Tyler Miller (JUST-like-IT-looks)
While not possessing a soul patch, bald head, or propensity to get red cards from the bench (yet!), Miller has size and skill and like all good Sounders went to Germany and came back where he belonged. He played keeper at Northwestern, which is mildly suspicious.
Charlie Lyon (CHAR-lee Lie-on)
__Insert randomized "lion" pun here. RAWR. It's Charles Lyon, who went to Marquette. That is notable because Marquette is where my lovely wife went to school and she's awesome so he must be too. Apparently he is the heaviest guy on the team. The more you know.
Joevin Jones (JOE-vin Joe-nz)
He's young, he's fast, he's Trinidadian and Tabogoan. Raise your hand if you thought about sledding when you read that? Sledding is fun. So is watching this guy run up and down the left side which he does nonstop for 90 minutes. We got him from DP dumping ground and perennial doormat Chicago Fire for a few toothpicks and a bent paperclip. Remember the "fist bump heard round the world"? Garthie done did it again.
Dylan Remick (Dill-un Rem-mick)
He went to some school called "Brown" which seems suspect. What's next, drafting guys from "purple" or "striped"? Apparently he was a big track star there, which aids him every time he is asked to circle the outside of the field. On the field, he is a young, exciting two-way player who improved greatly last year into a starting role before being injured and falling back. He will need to improve more than just his hair game to pass Jones for starting minutes though.
Chad Marshall (DAD Mar-shull)
Three-time DPOTY which is an acronym that stands for "not called in by Jurgen", Marshall is from California and has a long history with coach Schmid which is definitely the only reason he gets any playing time. He went to Stanford so luckily he has a base to fall back on if the whole soccer thing doesn't work out. See, he's not good. We should really trade the guy.
Brad Evans (ell Cap-e-tan)
Known more for his amazing hair and off-field antics, including being deputized and Twitter #banter, this player brings little to the team as a player and serves more as a mascot/figurehead for the squad (he might not even start every game!)
Roman Torres (roe-MAHN Tore Ezz)
Someone told me he was from Panama, but that's obviously a lie. This guy was carved out of granite by the ancient Incas and he definitely hails from "parts unknown." He checks all the bandwagon fans shiny loves: muscles, sweet hair options, eats Giovinco-sized humans for an afternoon snack. He blew out a knee, doesn't MLS know that he's only going to come back and crane kick the competition now?
Zach Scott (Zack Skawt)
Not to be confused with his twin brother ZacK Scott, who is a world renowned geneticist and pre-eminent researcher tracking cancer markers, this Sounders defender also knows a bit about marking things. Originally born in Hawaii in 1934, Scott is in his 81st season as a member of the Sounders. To think, they were saying he was only given a look in an open tryout back in 1974.
Jimmy Ockford (Jim-my Awk-Ferd)
James William Ockford actually played forward in college for three years. And then the school he played for dropped the sport. Coincidence? He also is one of the two best rappers on the current roster, so he has that going for him. Jimmy played for the New York Cosmos which is a team in a league that I can't name another team within.
Damion Lowe (Day-me-un Low)
Hailing from Kingston Jamaica, Lowe went to college at someplace called Hartford. No, that’s not a typo, he didn’t go to Harvard (famous alums: Teddy Roosevelt, Bill Gates, Natalie Portman, Mike Fucito) he went to HarTford (famous alums: Damion Lowe). A very fast defender with good distribution forward, Damion has been hampered by injuries and national team call-ups. He hates Portland so much he loaned himself to Minnesota to get an extra chance to play them this preseason.
Tyrone Mears (Ty-Rone Meers)
When Tyrone does something good on the field, you are supposed to take a drink and shout "BEERS FOR MEARS." It's written on your ticket stub in small print. What ticket stub? It's in that app that probably doesn't work. Mears is English (like the muffin) and based on my wife's interaction with him taking her yoga classes, a great guy. Hair game varies from meh to awful.
Oniel Fisher (oh-Neel Fish-sure)
Oniel "don't you dare try to put an apostrophe in my name" Fisher is a Jamaican player who looks comfortable at both outside back and outside midfield. Fisher is developed throughout last year and in preseason has moved back to his natural right side. He will look to pick up some more playing time, perhaps even a few spot starts should someone else misplace one.
Andreas Ivanschitz (on-Dray-us EVEN-schitz)
Not a lot is known about this mythical creature from Austria. Yes Austria, not to be confused with Australia, Sweden, or any other place not Austria. He is known as the Austrian Beckham, which I shall refrain from calling him ever. Apparently he was referred to the team by Michael Gspurning, which is neat because I really liked that guy. Andreas is a set-piece master and shouldn't be lacking for targets on SSFC. If you aren't on the AI hype train yet, it's leaving the station. CHOO CHOO!
Osvaldo Alonso (ahs-VAHL-doe Uh-Lon-Zo)
Half Cuban, half Mellivora capensis, Alonso is a destructive force in the middle of the field. If you have the ball he wants the ball. It's not your ball silly, why would you ever think that? He is going to take your ball. And he is going to laugh as he goes the other way with your ball. You will be sad and crying. Next time just give him the ball, it's his ball. Silly you.
Erik Friberg (Air-ick Free-Burg)
HIS NAME ISNT FREIBERG! STOP THAT! Something something Tacos. If you don't like Tacos well, here's an extra scarf it must be cold in communist Russia. It's also FREE not FRY burg. He also spells his first name with a K and not a C. Got all those alsos??
Cristian Roldan (KRIS-chun Roll-dahn)
There's no h in his name and that's confusing. Know what's not confusing? How good this kid is. He is quick, has good vision, improving touch, went to a local college, and is involved with every charity event possible. Dude has his head on straight which is probably good for the neck. He will be pushing people for playing time this year in an effort to show in year 2 he's already the best Sounders draft pick ever. (no Dave. No.)
Michael Farfan (Mar-fan)
Marfan is not to be confused with his red card waiting to happen brother Garfan. Not a lot is known about this reclusive player, but he did make the MLS all-star game in 2012 while playing for Philadelphia. Not being a goalie, he was shipped off to Mexico and club Nelson Cruz Azul as soon as he had some success. After a short stop in our nation's capitol, presumably for some half smokies, Marfan trialed with the best team ever last year. Supposedly this guy can play midfield, but so far I have only seen him play left out.
Obafemi Martins (Oh-buh-feh-me Mar-Tins)
Team hasn't said he's gone, so enjoy the lalaland that I live in. His bio says he is from Nigeria, which is a really weird way to spell "built in a lab from a combination of black widow, gamma rays, rhinoceros, a live Volcano, the Incredible Hulk, and a grandmother's love" but what do I know. Possessing a rare mix of balance, agility, speed and intelligence, Oba is a magician. Wanna see a magic trick? Oba can single handedly create goals out of thin air.
Clint Dempsey (klint Demp-sea)
Depending on who you ask, this guy is either the devil (THINK OF THE CHILDREN), a tremendously invested player and teammate or just a notebook shredding, referee assaulting jerk. The only thing I see him shredding lately is the other teams, his silky smooth positioning and exquisite touch are a joy to watch. While not the most vivacious player on the team, this guy from Texas via the soccer powerhouse Furman U does something many before him haven't - shows up in the playoffs. I think he has MVP ability and if that fails a promising yet-bound-to-fail rapping career awaits.
Nelson Haedo Valdez (Nell-Sun Val-Dez)
Nelson, as I like to call him "the Paraguayan David Beckham if Beckham was a hair model and actually ran on the soccer field instead of just wandering around hitting set pieces and DID I MENTION THE HAIR?" This guy is a South American hybrid with great touch, amazing work rate and finishing chops for days. Since he's already getting $PAID$ let's hope this good-in-the-air athletic forward as is as effective as the last one we had.
Aaron Kovar (Air-un Koh-var)
Aaron is a local player. I know this to be true because I saw him at a park once and kicked a ball with him. I pretty much taught him everything he knows. Possessing lethal left-footed service, great stamina, and athleticism, it is up to Kovar to take the next step to more consistent playing time. He has looked great at times, but at others dropped the ball. Well, let's just ignore how bad that saying is in a soccer context thanks.
Darwin Jones (Darr-win Joe-nz)
Darwin "no you aren't the first person to compare my first name to Charles Darwin" Jones is a freak athlete. Looking to be unlocked by the move to a wider forward position, Darwin uses his pace to stretch the defense and either cross or cut inside to have a wicked right-footed shot. Q. Who led the Sounders in preseason goals? A. Well why would I ask it in here if it was someone else? I'm not crazy you know.
Andy Craven (Ann-dee Crave-en)
Andrew Craven is from Georgia and went to North Carolina where he was a Tar Heel. (Don't get me started on what a "Tar Heel" is.) He has long hair and seems like the kind of guy who would have a spare beer or three with your name on it if you stopped by. Craven did well enough at S2 to get brought up and tossed to the wolves last year, where he got eaten and blew out his knee. Dude smiled through it, though, and I hope he can push some others.
Victor Mansaray (Vick-tore Mans-uh-ray)
Let's be honest here. There is no way this guy is 19. Since his birthday is 2/22 that may or may not be true. My point was this "kid" is a MONSTER of a physical specimen, he looks like, well, a Grown Ass Man (GAM™). Victor is a "homegrown" player which benefits the team greatly in that they only had to invest some potting soil and fertilizer in his development. Seen as a key piece to the future, I hope his abilities catch up to his amazing physique, he has opportunity to be dominant.
Jordan Morris (J-Mo Sm-ew-th)
Prefering to be called by his street name "YerGan Whoo", this mystical unicorn is so quick, he's almost invisible (that's why if you read this earlier you didn't see him!). He Gspurned the advances of a German League of buns to return home and play for the mighty Sounders. (Puppy, you da real MVP.) A fantastical combination of speed, strength, and technical ability, Jordan plays older than his age and so far has fit seamlessly into the Sounder attack.