After spending three weeks in Belgium on trial with Standard Liege, Sam Rogers is apparently returning to the Tacoma Defiance without a contract offer. The 20-year-old centerback impressed during his trial, but not enough for Standard Liege to meet the Sounders’ valuation, according to a report by Soccer by Ives.
Rogers had apparently been frustrated that he had not advanced through the organization faster, watching fellow Sounders Academy products like Trey Muse, Danny Leyva and Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez offered first-team contracts over the past six months.
Injuries and youth national team call-ups have limited Rogers to just 23 appearances with the Defiance over the past two years. The Sounders are likely hoping to see a bit more consistency from him before offering him a first-team deal.
While his advancement may not have been as fast as he hoped, Sounders GM Garth Lagerwey offered assurance that Rogers is still a valued part of the club’s future. In comments to Ives, Lagerwey pointed out that even after the signing of 24-year-old Xavier Arreaga, centerback is the Sounders’ oldest position group. The suspension of Román Torres and Kim Kee-hee being in the final year of his contract have only served to underscore the Sounders’ need at that position, he noted.
“It’s obvious to anyone that we needed to have younger centerbacks in our system,” Lagerwey told Ives. “I would say there’s a lot of opportunity for centerbacks in our system.”