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Sounders pick SDSU defender Aleks Berkolds in third round

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Seattle use the 68th overall pick on a former Sounders U-23 player.

Seattle Sounders FC selected Aleks Berkolds from San Diego State University with the 68th overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft via conference call.

Seattle chose a player with at least some local connection in Berkolds. The 22-year-old from Northridge, California played as a midfielder on the Sounders FC U-23s in 2016, though he was used as a defender with SDSU.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound centerback played 1,650 minutes over 18 games with SDSU in his senior season, and will likely compete for playing time in S2’s defense as a longer-term development project. But Berkolds (alternatively spelled ‘Berkholds’ by multiple former teams), is already 22, and will likely need to show rapid elevation to the pro level in order to break into significant playing time.

This is the Sounders final pick in the 2019 SuperDraft, having sent their fourth-round pick to the Montreal Impact. Seattle selected Air Force Winger Tucker Bone in the first round, and midfielder Joel Rydstrand in the second round in Chicago Friday.