The Sounders depth at midfield will get a boost for their fourth-round matchup with Kitsap Pumas as they begin their quest for their fifth Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup trophy. The team announced that Sounders FC 2 rookie Zach Mathers has been signed to a short-term contract with the first team in order to be available against the Pumas.
Major League Soccer teams are allowed to "call up" players from their USL squads up to four times a season, for up to four days each, but only for non-MLS competitive matches. Since MLS affiliate teams are no longer allowed to participate in the USOC, there's no conflict of a player being "cup-tied" to one squad or the other.
Mathers has been a mainstay in the S2 midfield this season. Over his 11 appearances he has two assists and plenty of hard work in the middle that doesn't show up in the stats. The 22-year-old 2016 2nd-round draft pick could possibly take a starting spot against Kitsap, but more likely will provide a substitute or cover option on the bench to give a rest to the likes of Cristian Roldan or Osvaldo Alonso.
Additionally, Andy Craven was held out of the S2 match against Timbers 2 Tuesday, and should be available for selection. Craven is under contract with the first team, but has 3 goals in 9 games for S2 this season.