Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sounders select defender Andrew Duran and forward Babayele Sodade.

By Money Mike

The 2012 MLS SuperDraft took place earlier today in Kansas City. Quite a few young stars like Jason Banton and Kohei Yamanda weren't selected, so they'll have to wait until the Supplemental Draft next Tuesday to find out where they're headed. It would also make it a little difficult for them to earn a spot on their team. The two players that were selected earlier by the Seattle Sounders won't have to wait for Tuesday. The Sounders selected Creighton University defender Andrew Duran at #15 overall and University of Alabama-Birmingham forward Babayele Sodade at #34 overall. With the team stacked up with 29 players on the roster now, both Duran and Sodade will have their work cut out for them at training camp.

Duran's college career didn't start out well at all for him. In 2007, he was named among the Top 100 Freshman to watch by College Soccer News. However, he only made nine appearances as a freshman after missing most of the season due to mononucleosis. In his sophomore season in 2008, he made seven appearances because suffering a season ending ACL injury in a match against the University of Denver. In 2009, after missing the season opener, Duran came off the bench in his first two matches of the season before making his first start of the season against the Washington Huskies. Overall, he made 14 appearances in 2009 including seven starts. In 2010, Duran got off to a good start in his senior year. He scored his first goal of his collegiate career on the road against UC Santa Barbra. The Bluejays posted four shutouts in their first four matches of the season, however he redshirted the rest of the season after tearing a meniscus in his knee on September 17, 2010 against SMU. In his redshirt-senior season in 2011, Duran made 24 appearances and helped lead Creighton to an NCAA record 0.20 goals against average, 19 shutouts. The Bluejays conceded five goals all season. However, they failed to win the College Cup after being knocked out in the Semifinals on PK's against UNC Charlotte.

It was just about an injury prone collegiate career at Creighton for Andrew Duran, but he stepped up and became a leader to Creighton's back line in 2011.

Duran actually spent a week here in Seattle, training with the Sounders and also caught a game at CenturyLink Field. In that game, Jeff Parke scored from a corner kick in stoppage time against Sporting Kansas City to give the Sounders a 1-0 win. That goal convinced Duran that he wanted to be a Sounder.

In the second round, the Sounders selected Babayele Sodade from UAB. Sodade improved his production in each of his four seasons with the Blazers. After failing to score in his freshman year, Sodade scored seven goals in 18 games as a sophomore, nine goals in 18 games as a junior and led the team with 13 goals in 21 games as a senior. With Nate Jaqua finally gone after his shit performance in both 2010 and 2011, and O'Brian White still recovering from two blood clot surgeries he had last season, Sodade gives the Sounders depth at the forward position. I'm a little surprised that he wasn't taken in the first round. I know somebody picked him to be drafted by the Sounders, but in the first round though.

Overall, I think the draft went pretty well for the Sounders, but again there's also a supplemental draft on tuesday which is four rounds and the roster for the Sounders currently sits at 29 and all MLS clubs can have a maximum of 30 players on their roster. So the fact that four more players will join camp and the fact MLS season is upon us, we'll have about seven weeks to find out who will make this team and who will have to look for a new club.

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