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S2 Postmortem: The Players

A look at every player who wore the S2 kit in 2016.

Mike Russell/Sounder at Heart

In 2015 Sounders FC 2 was a team seemingly undecided on its overall purpose. The new club found itself stuck between the pressure to win now, the desire for financial self sufficiency, and an expectation that they should produce players for the bigger club to the north. There is still a lot of uncertainty about what S2 will become in the future, but in 2016 the purpose was focused more clearly on player development.

And it showed; the first third of the season was not meant to be viewed. Things became more watchable but S2 still ended the season 12th in the West (9-13-8 -15). Evaluating the team as a whole feels a little fruitless so here is a review of every player that saw time with Sounders 2.

Nouhou Tolo (#35; Age 19; LB; 24 Appearances; 0 Goals; 0 Assist; 2016’)

Potential: Top MLS LB.

Overview: The young Cameroonian joined S2 from Rainbow F.C. early in the season and made the LB spot his upon arrival. His play is most notably defined by his loping runs up and down the left side. The stats belie his offensive abilities. He can whip in a nice cross, most often low and hard across the six yard box. As the season progressed Tolo became stronger in possession, developing a decent first touch and an eye for the simpler, reasonable pass. As it seems to be with many young fullbacks, Tolo has a bit to learn in the positioning/awareness column, but his raw physicality makes him a formidable one-on-one defender.

2017: Could see time with the first team in preseason but will most likely remain with S2 as the first choice left back.

Mark O’Ojong (# 90; Age 19; CDM/CM; 28 appearances; 2 Goals; 1 Assist; 1768’)

Potential: MLS All-Star or better.

Overview: The second member of the Cameroonian convoy from Rainbow F.C. was S2’s most consistent CDM/CM. He has appeared for the Cameroon U17s and made the bench for the senior team. O’Ojong got off to a rough start with S2, earning yellows for late challenges in his first three starts. Shortly thereafter he seemed to adjust to the speed of the game and received just one yellow the rest of the season. He relies on positioning, anticipation and timing defensively, choosing to stalk from a distance rather than harry the opponent. O’Ojong is an excellent long passer, able to spray the ball forward with both feet. He also has good control...

and can finish with both feet.

2017: Has an outside chance at making the first team but either way he should spend most of the year starting for S2

Tony Alfaro (# 25; Age 23; CB; 20 appearances; 2 Goals; 1 Assist; 1762’)

Potential: MLS starter

Overview: Alfaro became the first team's 4th choice center back and performed well in his appearances. He is strong in the air and can pick a pass out well from the backline. Famously left-footed, he can be caught in possession if he gets the ball stuck on his right side. He can also occasionally get pulled out of position, but is generally tactically strong. The latter half of the season turned a bit odd for Alfaro. Playing for S2, where he looked absolutely dominant early in the year, he struggled to turn in average performances. Perhaps he struggled to readjust to not having a top MLS back next to him, maybe he struggled to get up for USL games having played in the superior league. It is hard to know but hopefully he can return to form and remain a solid bench option for the first team next season.

2017: Will probably be the 4th string first team CB and be a feature on the bench due to his ability to also play left back.

Jordan Schweitzer (# 34; Age 22; CDM; 22 appearances; 4 Goals; 2 Assist; 1685’)

Potential: 20-25th spot on an MLS roster.

Overview: Schweitzer, the once Homegrown Player, is a solid USL defensive mid. He does what he is supposed to do. He isn’t going to make plays happen from deep and he isn’t going to chase anyone down, but he is going to keep possession and he is going to be where he should be. Surprisingly, he also become a legitimate goal threat late in the season. Having scored only two goals in four years at Denver, he scored four in the last nine S2 matches.

If he can truly add scoring as a feature of his game it may be the wrinkle needed to make him a viable MLS backup.

2017: He is no longer with the organization. Will probably be a starter at Orlando City B.

Zach Mathers (# 32; Age 22; CAM/CM; 24 appearances; 3 Goals; 4 Assist; 1690’)

Potential: Back-up withdrawn forward

Overview: Given his two short term loans to the first team, Mathers seems the most likely S2 contracted player to make the move to MLS. He is most dangerous when he has the ball near the top of the box. There are passages in a match where his short passing looks to much for USL defenders but there are also fifteen minute spans where every touch is a turn over. He is a good dribbler and has a good shot. He had the most shots (45) and shots on goal (22) of anyone on S2. The four goal tally is probably less than he deserved. Defense is not Mathers calling and he really struggles for stamina late in matches. Given those struggles his only realistic position at a higher level is as a withdrawn type forward, but he could be decent there in MLS.

Especially if he can whip these out:

2017: Probably gets a first team contract and sees some time in USOC plus an occasional bench appearance for MLS matches

Jordy Delem (# 77; Age 23; CDM/CB; 19 appearances; 0 Goals; 1 Assist; 1647’)

Potential: Depth CB/CDM flex option on an MLS roster.

Overview: The Martinique international’s season was defined by a move to centerback. He is undersized at the position, but is able to make up for it with intelligence and a little bit of speed. By the end of the season he was S2’s best CB despite his disadvantages. It will be interesting to see if he continues to improve next year or if his size becomes a limiting factor.

2017: If S2 sees him as a continuing option at CB he will probably be back - if not he could be cut.

Michael Nelson (# 36; Age 22; CB; 19 appearances; 0 Goals; 1 Assist; 1613’)

Potential: USL starting CB

Overview: 2016 was Nelson’s first year as a professional. In college he made 54 appearances and scored 4 times for Old Dominion. He also played ten times for NC State but was dismissed from the team following a moment of extracurricular impropriety.

For S2 Nelson was decent. He struggled the least of the S2 contracted natural CBs. Basically, he didn’t seem completely overwhelmed and didn’t have any glaring holes in his game. It wouldn’t be a bad option for S2 to bring him back as CB depth in 2017.

2017: Will probably ply his trade on the bench of a USL roster - Could be with S2.

Myron Samuel (# 97; Age 24; Winger/Forward; 22 appearances; 3 Goals; 4 Assist; 1607’)

Potential: USL Starter.

Overview: Samuel is a countrymen of Oalex Anderson and Ezra Henderson. He joined S2 from Rendezvous FC, for whom he had scored 51 goals in three seasons, late in the 2015 season. His debut was spectacular, scoring two goals in 44’, but he picked up an injury that kept him out of the team for the remainder of the year.

Unfortunately the glimpse of brilliance in 2015 was just a glimpse. Samuel’s 2016 was much more pedestrian. That is not to say he was terrible. He was a solid contributor and the most consistent winger employed by S2. The Vincentian has good vision and can serve in a solid ball. If Samuel were a bit younger there would be more to be excited about, but his trajectory this season suggests he is near his ceiling.

2017: S2 should cut him.

Devon Fisher (# 81; Age 22; RB; 26 appearances; 0 Goals; 0 Assist; 1586’)

Potential: USL Starter

Overview: S2 picked Fisher up from the Timbers USL side. He doesn’t have much upside but he can do RB things at the USL level.

2017: Could remain as a solid RB with S2 if they don’t find a right back with more potential to slide in.

Darwin Jones (# 17; Age 24; Forward; 28 appearances; 7 Goals; 1 Assist; 1533’)

Potential: MLS Depth

Overview: Jones spent the year drifting back and forth between the Sounders’ bench and S2’s starting XI. He is a very, very good USL striker.

The UW grad was by far the best finisher that took the field for S2 and his combination of speed and strength is a tough ask for the defenders in America’s third division. However, he is at the stage where the organization have to start asking themselves questions. While he instantly makes the USL side better, his prospects with the first team are quickly drying up. It is probably better for both sides if they let their relationship end.

2017: There is a possibility S2 signs him - He might be looking to move somewhere he has more of a chance with an MLS side.

Victor Mansaray (# 80; Age 19; Center Forward; 19 appearances; 5 Goals; 2 Assist; 1355’)

Potential: MLS All-Star or better

Overview: Mansaray actually had a pretty good year. It is tempting to be frustrated that he hasn’t burst onto the scene but he is still only 19 and has continued to steadily improve. Vic still gets called into the U20s with regularity and remains the top prospect in USL.

Mansaray made many improvements to his game this year; the most obvious of them being his left foot which he showed with his first goal of the season.

That clip actually shows another improvement he has made. 2015 Mansaray would touch that ball as soon as possible and then be dispossessed as he tried to dribble past the defender. Here he lets the ball do a lot of the work for him and his first touch is actually the shot.

Vic is still inconsistent, but he had games this year where he was too good for the USL. His improved hold-up play has allowed him to thrive as an out and out center forward where he can control the game from the front. Mansaray is still a player to be very excited about.

2017: The organization needs to do all they can to hang on to him. There is the possibility of a loan to a nordic side. If he remains in Seattle he could see some time in the USOC and possibly MLS, but is still primarily an S2 player.

Andy Craven (# 99; Age 24; Forward; 16 appearances; 3 Goals; 2 Assist; 1335’)

Potential: Top USL forward.

Overview: Craven has regressed pretty heavily to the mean after his fast start in 2015. The organization gave him the first half of 2016 to prove that the quick start wasn’t a fluke, but he wasn’t that impressive. After being cut loose by the Sounders he moved to the OKC Energy where he provided no goals or assists in 10 appearances. He will most likely continue to be a solid USL player and that is about it.

2017: He will most likely remain at OKC.

Oneil Fisher (# 91; Age 25; RB; 12 appearances; 0 Goals; 1 Assist; 1066’)

Potential: Solid MLS right back.

Overview: Fisher did not look good when he played for S2, but he remained solidly in the 18 for the first team. He performed well enough with them when he saw time so it is hard to take much from his S2 appearances.

2017: Might get a shot at the first team RB spot or he might move elsewhere.

Carlos Patino (# 95; Age 21; CM; 23 appearances; 0 Goals; 1 Assist; 1049’)

Potential: MLS Midfield depth

Overview: The Colombian came to S2 through the Kitsap Pumas pipeline and continues to hang around the periphery of being in S2’s best XI. Patino keeps the ball moving and maintains possession well. His touch is also solid. He seems to do all the little things right but struggles to impact matches. 2017 will be a big year for Patino, he has everything he needs to be an MLS player but his time is running out to put it all together.

2017: Will probably stay with S2 and work towards become a first choice midfield option.

Willy Kapawa (# 92; Age 24; CM; 12 appearances; 0 Goals; 0 Assist; 675’)

Potential: Sub-USL

Overview: S2 acquired Kapawa from Lion Blessé of Cameroon’s top flight and he hasn’t been able to adjust to play in the USL. He gets caught on the ball a lot and the midfield is noticeably more porous when he is on the field. He is already 24 so it seems unlikely he will return next year.

2017: Shouldn’t return for S2

Brandon John (# 70; Age 21; CB; 9 appearances; 0 Goals; 0 Assist; 545’)

Potential: USL back-up

Overview: Brandon John is a Kingston, St. Vincent and the Grenadines born Canadian who has three caps with Canadian youth national teams. Before coming to Seattle he played for FC Erzgebirge Aue II in the German 5th division and before that he was part of the Toronto FC academy.

John was another S2 CB who couldn’t cope with the level of play in USL and was far to turnover prone.

2017: Shouldn’t return for S2.

Emir Alihodzic (# 88; Age 23; CDM/CM; 18 appearances; 1 Goals; 1 Assist; 507’)

Potential: USL back-up

Overview: The Sounders drafted Alihodzic out of the University of Nebraska Omaha, where he was a four year starter, but cut him before the start of the season. He is a similar player to Schweitzer. He has a tiny bit more creativity but is inferior to Schweitzer in most other areas.

Late in the season Alihodzic’s minutes declined pretty drastically and in total he managed just three starts. He looks unlikely to be part of the future.

2017: Shouldn’t return for S2

Irvin Parra (# 38; Age 23; Attacker/RB; 6 appearances; 1 Goals; 2 Assist; 459’)

Potential: MLS flex back-up.

Overview: Parra joined S2 late in the year from FC Kaiserslautern II. He is a versatile attacker who can also play RB. He is a quality USL attacker, but, at 23, was probably brought in with the idea of giving him a shot at the first team in 2017.

2017: Will probably get a look from the first team in preseason. If he doesn’t get a first team contract S2 might keep him to provide a veteran presence in the attack.

Tobi Jnohope (# 50; Age 19; CB; 5 appearances; 0 Goals; 0 Assist; 436’)

Potential: USL Back-up.

Overview: Jnohope is an academy CB who saw time with S2. He was completely overrun at the USL level and he may have been better off if he didn’t appear for S2.

He is now at the University of Denver and his development is in their hands. He has yet to appear for Denver this year.

2017: University of Denver.

Lorenzo Ramos (# 41; Age 19; CDM/CM; 28 appearances; 1 Goals; 0 Assist; 431’)

Potential: MLS Starter

Overview: An Academy player that has been making appearances off of the bench for S2 the past two seasons. Ramos has never looked overwhelmed playing for S2 but it is a bit hard to project his future. He isn’t a flashy player and handles himself well in midfield. In the long run he probably becomes a #8 type midfielder. He has also shown that he can shoot from distance.

2017: Continues as an S2 player.

Nathan Sturgis (# 18; Age 29; CDM/CM; 5 appearances; 0 Goals; 0 Assist; 373’)

Overview: Couldn’t find time with the first team so he got a few minutes with S2.

2017: Shouldn’t be back.

Dylan Remick (# 15; Age 25; LB; 3 appearances; 0 Goals; 0 Assist; 270’)

Overview: Got some time while rehabbing from injury.

2017: Now plays for the Houston Dynamo.

Michael Farfan (# 12; Age 28; Midfielder; 7 appearances; 0 Goals; 0 Assist; 251’)

Overview: Couldn’t find time with the first team so he got a few minutes with S2.

2017: Shouldn’t be back.

Nick Hinds (# 40; Age 19; LB/LM; 6 appearances; 0 Goals; 0 Assist; 249’)

Potential: Top MLS LB - Backup LM

Overview: Hinds was the best of the Academy players to appear for S2. He is an athletic LB with a very good left foot. He held his own defensively and took set pieces when he played for S2. We only got a glimpse of him but he looks promising.

Apparently he played as an attacking midfielder for Akron in the college playoffs and did very well. He is almost certainly still a left back at the professional level but it is a good sign he can perform up the field against college competition.

2017: Will probably play at least another year at Akron but he is HGP eligible so he could be signed earlier.

Handwalla Bwana (# 42; Age 18; Winger/Forward; 5 appearances; 0 Goals; 0 Assist; 160’)

Potential: MLS starter.

Overview: Bwana did not look good when he played with S2, but he was put in the tough position of coming in as an attacking sub in most of his appearances. Even experienced attackers can struggle to get into a game coming on as a sub. He is now at the University of Washington and performing well.

There is not much to take from his S2 performances, but indications are he is one for the future.

2017: University of Washington.

Aaron Kovar (# 11; Age 23; Midfielder; 3 appearances; 1 Goals; 0 Assist; 148’)

Potential: MLS starter

Overview: When Kovar played for S2 he was easily the best player on the field.

2017: Kovar is currently on trial with Cardiff City, which follows a stint trialing with Hibernian in Scotland. 50/50 whether he returns for Seattle or moves elsewhere.

John Magnus (# 44; Age 19; Midfielder; 4 appearances; 1 Goals; 1 Assist; 123’)

Potential: USL back-up

Overview: Magnus seemed to get himself involved around the goal mouth. He provided an assist and scored a goal. He needs to get stronger if he wants to play at the professional level.

2017: University of Washington

Oalex Anderson (# 39; Age 21; Winger; 3 appearances; 1 Goals; 0 Assist; 120’)

Potential: Solid MLS winger (if he can realize he isn’t playing pick-up behind the school)

Overview: For S2 Anderson did what he always does. He ran fast, didn’t play defense, and tried to dribble past everyone.

2017: Out of contract - Unclear where he will be.

Shandon Hopeau (# 52; Age 18; Winger; 2 appearances; 0 Goals; 0 Assist; 97’)

Potential: MLS Starter.

Overview: The 18-year-old joined the Sounders academy from Hawaii this year and has impressed enough that he earned a start with S2. Hopeau isn’t afraid to go at defenders and is the most dynamic of the Academy players to feature for S2 this year.

2017: Academy

Kei Tomozowa (# 53; Age 17; Midfielder; 7 appearances; 0 Goals; 0 Assist; 92’)

Potential: Not enough information

Overview: The youngest player to make an appearance for S2 this year. He didn’t get enough time to see what he has to offer. Has also made one appearance with the United States’ U18s.

2017: Academy

Harrison Kurtz (# 45; Age 19; Forward; 4 appearances; 0 Goals; 0 Assist; 92’)

Potential: USL Back-up

Overview: Kurtz made a few short sub appearances for S2. He is now at Clemson where he has made seven appearances.

2017: Clemson

Milo Barton (# 54; Age 19; Forward; 1 appearances; 0 Goals; 0 Assist; 61’)

Potential: Not enough information

Overview: Barton joined the Academy in 2016 - He made one start for S2.

2017: Academy

Jake Morris (# 40; Age 17; CB; 2 appearances; 0 Goals; 0 Assist; 36’)

Potential: MLS CB

Overview: Joined the Academy late in the season. Made two substitute appearances for S2. Has appeared for the USYNT.

2017: Academy

Jamie Dimitroff (# 46; Age 18; Midfielder; 3 appearances; 0 Goals; 0 Assist; 23’)

Potential: Not enough information

Overview: Another Academy player who made a couple cameo appearances for S2

2017: Academy

Charlie Lyon (# 22; Age 24; GK; 17 appearances; .571 Save Percentage; 1.95 Goals Against Average; 1521’)

Potential: USL Back-up

Overview: Lyon was S2’s primary keeper and he was not good. He had the worst save percentage and fourth highest goals against average of goalies with more than 1000’. His distribution was very poor and he did not control the backline well. He does not have the talent to be a USL starting goalkeeper.

2017: Most likely will not return.

Matt Bersano (# 98; Age 24; GK; 2 appearances; .800 Save Percentage; 1.82 Goals Against Average; 1521’)

Potential: USL starter.

Overview: Bersano was S2’s third string keeper but he looked good in his two late season appearances. The fact that he never started over Lyon is surprising.

2017: Most likely will not return

Tyler Miller (# 1; Age 23; GK; 12 appearances; .750 Save Percentage; 1.25 Goals Against Average; 1521’)

Potential: Top MLS goalkeeper.

Overview: Miller started for S2 when he wasn’t on the first teams bench. He performed well with S2 and his shot stopping ability is immense. He made some saves that very few keepers get too. He is long and has excellent reflexes. He needs to be a bit stronger in the air and his distribution needs to get better to be an MLS #1.

2017: Will split time between S2 and the first team. Should see time for both.

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