One of MLS’s many roster rules is a system of short-term loans that allow MLS sides to use non-roster players for up to four non-league games each. Six Sounders 2 players, Rodrigue Ele, Nick Hinds, Shandon Hopeau, David Olsen, Ray Saari and Marlon Vargas, have been signed to short-term loan deals to compete in the Seattle Sounders Fourth Round US Open Cup match against Sacramento Republic FC tonight. They will hope to provide the First Team’s depleted roster a bit of respite while seeing the team through to the tournaments 5th round.
The most surprising player included in the callups is 17-year-old Attacking Midfielder Marlon Vargas. The Academy player signed with S2 just a month ago and has only appeared once for S2. In that match he played Center Attacking Midfielder, which is what he would likely play if he appears in the Open Cup. The lone “foreign” player, only five of which can be in the game day 18 per Open Cup rules, is Centerback Rodrigue Ele. He has been strong for S2 this year. David Olsen, who is the most like for like Clint Dempsey replacement, will be the other S2 option at CAM tonight.
Hinds and Hopeau will be the outside AM options. Hinds has spent most of his time with S2 out on the left and Hopeau most of his time on the right. Hinds will bring speed and Hopeau will bring a thunderous shot. Rounding out the six is Defensive Midfielder and S2’s Captain Ray Saari. He has the most Open Cup experience of those called up, having started both of the Sounders Open Cup matches last year.
Ele and Saari are the most likely to start the match tonight, though they could be joined by one of the four attacking mids in the starting 11. The others will hope to make substitute appearances but it is unlikely they all feature in what has become an important game against a good USL team.