As the MLS SuperDraft continues to weaken and MLS continues to grow, the Seattle Sounders keep picking near the bottom of the first round. In 2019 they will pick 20th overall. President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey will likely use the draft to add depth, because although there are nine open roster spots at this time, the starters and rotational players have a lot of strength. But there is much space for the Sounders brain trust to take risks on young talent to compete with their current HGPs and the S2-be-named roster.
In mocking the 2019 draft my list of targets mainly focused on centerbacks, forwards and maybe defensive mids. When the 10th pick came around only one target was off my short list. By the 15th pick I was down to three. At the 20th pick the well-prepared list was gone.
That meant going back to a few fundamentals of the Sounders organization. They don’t pick via conventional wisdom. They do pick based on players that they’ve scouted previous to the Combine. They do ignore Combine results. They do use their extensive network of former players scattered around the country.
20. Hassani Dotson, defensive midfielder/right back, Oregon State
Dotson is an agile player who tested well at the Combine. With the Beavers, under coach Terry Boss, he was a primary starter for four years, scoring 5 goals and collecting 3 assists.
Why this makes sense: The Sounders know Hassani well. He was at Crossfire for two years, as well as playing for Washington Premier prior to that. The Todd Beamer High School grad performed well academically in both high school and college. S2-be-named lacks a clear starter at defensive mid and Denso Ulysse could use a challenger to force improvement to MLS level.
Why this is cool: Collecting locals from the 253 is fun.
Why it doesn’t make sense: Dotson’s stock is generally seen as poor and he may be available later with the 44th pick. Seattle also picks 68th.