Unlike past years, the back end of the Seattle Sounders roster is quite young. Any player with more than a year of experience will probably be in the gameday 18. Having that much youth on the squad can lead to complacency and a lack of competition. To push young defensive talents like Oniel Fisher, Brian Nana-Sinkham, and Nouhou Tolo, the club brought in former New England Revolution defender Darrius Barnes.
Brian Schmetzer said, “We need some competition at the bottom half of the roster.”
Barnes is right footed but played left back, right back and centerback with New England. He missed almost all of 2016 due to injury.
“I’ve admired Darrius for a long time. He had some good years in New England,” Schmetzer continued. “We’re just trying to see if he can fit in.”
That fit will be hard for the 30-year-old defender, but he will have that opportunity. Barnes is a free agent, and so the only question is whether or not he can be the eighth or ninth defender on the roster.
Jake from the Bent Musket provides this scouting report for the former Rev.
Darrius Barnes was a 3rd round SuperDraft selection for the New England Revolution all the way back in 2009 and has been with the Revs for the last nine seasons. A centerback by trade, Barnes is the ultimate utility defender and can slot in anywhere along the backline and has seen just as much time at fullback in recent years with the Revs.
Barnes played every minute of his rookie season, playing 2700 minute in the 30 game regular season and was a mainstay in the New England backline for several seasons, but has been a role player for the past few seasons. Barnes' best season in recent memory was 2014 during the MLS Cup Final run. While he didn't feature in the playoffs much, Barnes did log 16 starts and 22 total appearances in the regular season.
Barnes suffered a torn patellar tendon in his left knee early in 2015 and despite the Revs issues in defense last season, he only made four starts in 2016. Injury history aside, if Seattle is looking for a spot starter or substitute defender off the bench, Barnes could be the perfect fit. He's used to playing on turf and as a fullback he's not bad at going forward and supporting the attack. I still think Barnes has something left in the tank, and as a role player/utility defender there's a lot of value you can get from having someone as versatile as Barnes on your roster.