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Sounders 2 sign two players with MLS experience

Aaron Long joins the USL team after playing for Sounders FC last year. Sam Garza spent the past three seasons with the San Jose Earthquakes.

Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Sounders FC 2 added two more players with solid resumes. Friday night they unveiled their fourth and fifth player signings to members of the Sounders Community Trust. On Saturday, the signings of Aaron Long and Sam Garza were made official.

Long finished 2014 with Seattle Sounders FC after signing with Portland and playing for the Sacramento Republic and Orange County Blues of the USL. Garza spent the last three seasons with San Jose and part of 2014 with San Antonio Scorpions of the NASL and Arizona United in the USL.

"This is a good place to gain a lot of experience and playing time as you get ready to move-up to the First Team, because that's everyone's goal here," said Long.

Garza is 25 years old and a former U.S. U-20 player. The former Generation Adidas player left Santa Barbara early to sign with MLS. The Earthquakes drafted him 6th overall in 2012.

"It's a good feeling to sign with one of the best organizations in MLS," said Garza.

During S2's preseason Garza has mostly been a right-side midfielder who sometimes pops up on the left, with rare moments playing as the more attacking of the central midfielders. His technical skills and leadership are strengths. He is not particularly fast and could provide more defense.

"Garza is one of the more talented players we have had in preseason this year," said S2 Head Coach Ezra Hendrickson. "With his experience on and off the field having played in MLS, we felt like we needed him for his talents taking on defenders one-on-one, creating space for our forwards."

Sounders 2015 Preseason, Day 1: Photos

Long, just 22 years old, ended the season with a rare appearance in the 18 during the MLS Cup Playoffs. The former Sounders first team fringe player was waived from the MLS roster while the team was in Arizona. With S2, he is a center back, rather than the central midfielder he was with Portland/Seattle in his rookie season.

"We switched Aaron from the midfield to centerback and we liked the way he has progressed so far," said Hendrickson. "He has become much more aggressive and his passing out of the back has been huge for us. He has also worn the captain's armband and we believe he has the experience and maturity to be a leader for S2."

The UC Riverside product plays with broad shoulders and decent height along the backline. He plays from the back well, focusing on possession.

These two signings are the second and third players with MLS playing time on the S2 roster. The other is former Sounders 1st teamer Amadou Sanyang. Andy Craven was signed by S2 after a trial with the 1st team in his draft year. Duncan McCormick signed directly to S2 after skipping college.

It also appears as though Pablo Rossi's long-awaited signing is close to coming to fruition, as he has reportedly received his visa.

Adding some credence to that report is Rossi retweeting it.

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