The former Homegrown Player, traded during the offseason to New England, is eager to prove his worth in the Desert Diamond Cup match.

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TUCSON, Ariz. – Federal Way native Sean Okoli isn’t shy about his intentions on Wednesday night, when his new club — New England — faces his old team — Seattle — in the Desert Diamond Cup.

“Oh, I want to score,” he said Monday, a sly smile spreading across his face.

“I want to score every game. It’s the same preparation, just finishing in practice then applying it to the game. But …”

But not every game comes against the team that just traded your Homegrown Player rights for a second-round draft pick – a second-round draft pick used on a goalkeeper, Tyler Miller, who is currently playing in Germany and “not in the team’s immediate plans,” per the Sounders.

Okoli, for his part, is staying positive about his fresh start. He’s gotten solid reviews from teammates Kelyn Rowe and Teal Bunbury and has gotten run both at forward and at left midfielder.

New England is filled with reclamation projects that have made the most of their second or third chances — Bunbury, Charlie Davies, Lee Nguyen — so Okoli has plenty of nearby examples.

“If I can just can find what I’m good at and continue to grow and get better with that, I can play outside up front or wherever the coach puts me,” Okoli said.

In the meantime, he’s ironing out the details of his new life in Boston, both on and off the field. Fellow Federal Way native Rowe has pitched in with apartment tips.

“I never really had to deal with things like this,” Okoli said. “It’s the first time around for me. But if I need help out, the guys help me out, so it’s been smooth.”

Sarvas settles in

He’s coy about it, but L.A. Galaxy stalwart turned Colorado Rapid Marcelo Sarvas probably wouldn’t mind bagging a few goals himself when his new squad takes on his former teammates May 2.

“It’s far away,” Sarvas said Monday. “I’ve got a lot of time to think about that. I haven’t stopped to think about that. But it will be very special.”

Despite winning two MLS Cups in three seasons with the Galaxy, Sarvas was traded on Jan. 15 for an international roster spot and the No. 3 position in the league allocation order. In a stroke, the possession-controlling midfielder went from the defending champions to a team that lost or tied its final 14 MLS games last season.

“I’m not the salvation for any situation,” Sarvas said. “I’m just one player on the team. I’m just trying to help make the team better.”

Sarvas joins a midfield high on talent and low on experience. The Dillons – Serna and Powers – are regarded as two of the brightest attacking prospects in MLS but have tallied as many league appearances combined (88) as Sarvas.

The potential is there, even if positive results haven’t been.

“With a team like the Galaxy, the mentality of the players is that you’re always thinking about winning,” Sarvas said. “You control the game. I want to bring that to this team and make them believe that we can win games and also fight for championships.”


• Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler was one of the few players to own up to post-World-Cup fatigue.

Sporting was also beset by a rash of injuries last season, the absences taking their toll as Kansas City lost to the New York Red Bulls in the play-in round.

After a much-needed offseason rest, the mood was high at Sporting camp on Monday at Kino Sports Complex.

“I feel great,” Besler said. “The best I’ve been in a long time.”

Fellow designated player Graham Zusi was equally buoyant after returning from a foot injury to play 34 minutes and score a goal in KC’s 3-2 win over Seattle on Saturday.

“It responded pretty well, as good as we thought it would,” Zusi said. “Really no setback at all.”