Seattle Sounders FC 2 are now three games into their 2017 campaign and, especially after their poor performance in Vancouver, there are still a lot of questions about how exactly all the eligible players fit onto this S2 roster. To some extent, that is to be expected as S2’s place in the middle of the developmental ladder necessitates a lot of moving parts, but some aspects have remained a little more mysterious than necessary.
Turns out, these questions simply needed asking. After Sounder at Heart chatted with Coach Ezra Hendrickson this week, several of the players’ roles have become more clear.
One of the more intriguing mysteries of the early season has been the move of former CDM Sam Rogers to CB. There has been some reasonable speculation that his move to centerback is a bid to improve his defense as a holding midfielder, and is therefore temporary. But Hendrickson made it absolutely clear that the organization sees Rogers as a centerback going forward, “I think that's where we see him playing at the next level, at centerback. I think he's got good size, he’s got good feet. He needs to improve a little bit on the defending part of it, the toughness part of it, the tenacity part of it. But I think he'll make a good centerback at the next level and that's where we see him playing, so that's where we want to train him, to develop him, as a centerback.” Hendrickson also went on to identify Rogers as one of the seasons top performers along with first teamer Zach Mathers and the defensive midfield pairing of Ray Saari and Francisco Narbón.
One of the biggest absences in the early season has been Javorn Stevens. Hendrickson was able to confirm that the forward has been dealing with an ankle injury and will likely be out a couple more weeks.
While Stevens will continue to be absent, Hendrickson seemed to indicate that two other new signings could see their first game time this weekend. “Denso [Ulysse], the right back, he's been training so he might be featured this weekend, and [Rodrigue] Ele should be ready to play.”
There is no question that S2’s lineups will remain difficult to predict, but things have come enough into focus that I feel comfortable taking a shot at S2’s depth chart and this week’s potential starting lineup.