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2018 S2 player review: Academy players

These youngsters aren’t yet on professional contracts, but how did they stack up in the USL?

Kayla Mehring / Sounder at Heart

S2 had a whopping 41 different players take the pitch this season, so we’ll be breaking these evaluations up into easily identifiable groups.

Those groups are: Players on MLS contracts playing down, direct S2 signings, adult S2 players eligible for Homegrown Player deals, teen S2 players eligible for Homegrown Player deals, and Sounders Academy members with at least five appearances.

The final chapter of our S2 review for last season involves Seattle Sounders Academy players who made at least five appearances for the club. These players have the toughest task of any players on the pitch for S2, trying to hold their own against older (and usually larger) competition while not yet on professional contracts. With that in mind, here’s how the future of the Sounders organization performed.

Khai Brisco

Stats: 14 games played, 37 clearances, 40 interceptions, 27 tackles, 82/123 duels won

Brisco nearly tripled his five appearances with S2 from 2017 and with good reason. Called upon at first during a time when the back line was so depleted that the 5’8”, 150-pound defender was asked to play centerback, Brisco impressed manager John Hutchinson enough that he became a regular part of the defense.

The youngster was unafraid of facing down larger competition and his speed helped S2 try to keep opposing back lines in check. His versatility meant that Brisco was able to play both the centerback and fullback position for S2.

2019 outlook: Brisco is set to graduate in 2019 and has already committed to join Jamie Clark’s University of Washington squad. Finishing out his last year in the academy, expect to see Brisco feature for S2 in the early portions of the season before reporting to Husky training camp in the summer, at which point NCAA eligibility rules will render him unable to play for S2 until he goes pro.

Dylan Teves

Stats: 10 games played, 89.2% passing accuracy, 11 interceptions

Teves made his debut in S2’s season opener, called in to play holding midfield while Ray Saari and Francisco Narbon both dealt with injuries to open the year. Teves impressed, looking competent and composed despite making a few poor decisions in distribution.

Teves was out of the squad by August, off to Montlake to play for the Huskies and start his collegiate career. As a freshman, Teves played his way into a starting role as the season wound on, finishing with a goal and an assist in 974 minutes of play for Washington, and earning a spot on the Honorable Mention All-Conference team.

2019 outlook: With Washington graduating senior midfielders Corban Anderson and Luke Hauswirth, it seems like Teves might be in for a full-time starting spot for Washington. While S2 might be a better test of mettle, plenty of young Sounders have hit their stride while wearing purple and gold.

Cameron Martin

Stats: 7 games played, 8 interceptions, 10/20 duels won

Like Teves, Martin was asked to make his debut in S2’s season opener in the holding midfield. While Teves seemed like the more dynamic talent, Martin acquitted himself well in seven appearances for the Tacoma side last year.

Martin eventually reported to training camp for the University of San Francisco, where he started nine matches and scored one goal in 782 minutes and was named to the West Coast Conference’s All-Freshman team.

2019 outlook: Martin will continue for the Dons in 2019. While certainly a talent, the Bothell native may face tough competition in trying to return to Seattle and win minutes depending on the development of S2’s young signings in the midfield, but even that seems unlikely to occur in the next few years.

Raul “Gio” Miglietti

Stats: 7 games played, 15 clearances, 10 interceptions, 3 key passes

Miglietti’s debut at Cheney Stadium was not under ideal circumstances. A midfielder by trade, Miglietti was asked by Hutchinson to enter the match as a first-half substitute for Francisco Narbon when he had his leg broken by Swope Park Rangers’ Mattheus Silva. Despite the difficult situation, Miglietti handled himself well, convincing Hutchinson to use him a bit more as the season rolled on.

The midfielder then went to join teammate Teves at the University of Washington, where he made five appearances for 129 minutes as a freshman.

2019 outlook: Like Teves, expect Miglietti to continue to mature in Montlake.

Blake Malone

Stats: 6 games played, 38 clearances, 18 interceptions, 32/53 duels won

Another centerback called in to deal with shortages on the back line, Malone had some difficulties adjusting to USL play. At times he seemed hesitant with the ball at his feet and was caught out of position in his debut for an opposition goal. After that, though, Malone settled in and seemed like a solid option for Hutchinson on the back line.

One of the key players in the U-17’s national championship, Malone recently received his first call up to the USYNT, a recognition of his rapid development.

2019 outlook: Malone is committed to play his college ball for North Carolina when the 2019 college season starts in late summer, but will likely make a few appearances for S2 before then. The organization seems to like Malone’s profile, believing that he could become a solid centerback prospect. That may center, however, on Malone’s decision to attend North Carolina or to sign a pro contract, if offered one by S2 during the early part of the season.