TUKWILA, Wash. – No one is going to accuse Kalani Kossa-Rienzi of quietly fading into the background. The Seattle Sounders' first-round draft pick has been among the standouts during the early stages of preseason, quickly making an impression by ably playing right back despite having played mostly as a central midfielder in college.
It's far too early to say whether or not he'll get a first-team contract, but he was good enough that he earned a trip to the business-end of preseason in Marbella, Spain. Kossa-Rienzi was one of just six non-first team players to earn that ticket. If he were to make the first-team roster, he'd be the first Sounders draft pick signed since Alex Roldan in 2018.
"He's a really good athlete," Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer said about his early impressions of Kossa-Rienzi. "He's super keen on making the squad. Technically he's okay. He needs to work on 1v1 defending. But he was against Léo Chú so that was a good test. Positionally it’s a little different. But overall very good."