Slowly but surely, the Seattle Sounders are filling up their available roster spots. The twin signings of Jordy Delem and Zach Mathers — both of whom spent last season with S2 — bring the Sounders to 25 players under contract. Theoretically, they could sign as many as six more players, but indications from GM Garth Lagerwey is that they’ll open the season looking very much like they do now.
Mathers and Delem are both ostensibly midfielders, but have moved around a bit. Delem, in particular, has seen time as a center back and right back in training sessions.
Mathers, who was a second-round pick out of Duke last year, already has some first-team experience, earning call-ups for three U.S. Open Cup games and playing in the West Ham friendly last year. Delem, 23, was signed on a free last year and has 32 caps with the Martinique national team.
“Adding Zach and Jordy provides us depth and versatility in the midfield as we get ready to begin the 2017 season,” Lagerwey said in a team release. “It's also another great example of our development system at work, as both players join the First Team after impressing last year with S2 and proving their abilities throughout our preseason camp.”
Lagerwey told reporters on Thursday that the players who’ve yet to sign are now trying to make the S2 roster. Although that list presumably includes first-round draft pick Brian Nana-Sinkham, he was still training with the first team. But third-round pick Bakie Goodman, fourth-round Kyle Bjornethun and Sounders Academy product David Olsen appear to be trying to stick with S2. Another fourth-round pick, Jake Stovall, has already signed with Puerto Rico FC of the NASL and second-round pick Dominic Oduro appears to be no longer training with S2. Current Sounders Academy players Jake Morris, Sam Rogers and Shandon Hopeau may continue train with both the first team and S2, but there’s likely less rush with them as they are still in high school. Darrius Barnes injury has left his situation more in flux.