TUKWILA, Wash. – A day after a cold but bright day of training at Starfire Sports Complex, the Seattle Sounders were left to much more inhospitable conditions on Wednesday. It wasn’t just that there was a steady rain or that temperatures were hovering around freezing, it’s that the field was so water-logged that passes would often just stop.
Still, the Sounders trudged through a full training session that ran close to two hours and again featured some spirited 11v11 scrimmaging.
Given the conditions, stand out performances were considerably harder to judge. But one player who seemed to be rising to the occasion was Kalani Kossa-Rienzi, the Sounders’ first-round draft pick in the most recent SuperDraft. Although Kossa-Rienzi mostly played as a central midfielder at the University of Washington, he was deployed as a right back and looked very comfortable running the full sideline and showcased some impressive power. In one memorable encounter, he even bodied Cristian Roldan off a 50/50.
It’s obviously far too early to make any sort of definitive statement, but Kossa-Rienzi does look like someone who should be able to contend for a first-team roster spot.
Meeting the new guys
Two of the newest signings Nathan and Jon Bell met with the media following Wednesday's training session. Both seemed very happy to be in Seattle and were in good spirits despite being cold and wet.
Nathan was with the San Jose Earthquakes last season and says that he's feeling as strong as he ever has after rehabbing from a torn ACL that cost him all of 2023.
"It was good to spend 9, 10 months just recovering and now I feel good," he said.
Bell spent last season at St. Louis City, where he played a lot less than he had probably hoped after working himself into the regular rotation for two years with the New England Revolution.
"I just want to prove to everybody, including myself, that I belong in this league," Bell said. "I feel like I can play at the highest level. I'm not going to let one door close on my dream of being a professional athlete."