The Sounders began to address the holes in their defense Thursday by selecting UNC Wilmington star Danny Reynolds in MLS’s SuperDraft.
Reynolds, a 6-foot-1 defender from Shilton, England, was chosen in the second round with the 35th overall pick. He was recently named the Colonial Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year and earned All-CAA first team honors.
Seattle, which won the 2019 MLS Cup in November, has one true center back on its roster in Xavier Arreaga. Reynolds is versatile enough where he could contribute at that position or left back, but will likely see more playing time with the Tacoma Defiance.
“Defiance coach Chris Little is high on Danny,” Sounders general manager Garth Lagerwey said via conference call. “He’s a position of need. (And) he’s a left-footed defender, those aren’t common. So we got ourselves what we felt is another option there. A player like that, who is left-footed and can play left back, center back, they’re probably always going to have some role in the organization.”
With their other second-round pick (52nd overall), the Sounders selected UNLV midfielder Timo Mehlich. The 6-footer from Monchengladbach, Germany, scored 11 goals during the 2019 season.
Mehlich may not report to the Sounders this season, however. He reportedly signed with a USL team.
“We control his MLS rights,” Lagerwey said. “If he is good enough to play in MLS, he’ll play for the Sounders.”
The two MLS expansion teams had the opening three picks in the draft. Inter Miami selected Clemson striker Robbie Robinson with the No. 1 overall pick and Georgetown defender Dylan Nealis with the No. 3 overall pick. Nashville SC nabbed Indiana defender Jack Maher with the No. 2 spot.
FC Dallas picked Seattle University defender Nkosi Burgess with the No. 14 overall pick. He’s the Redhawks’ fifth player to be drafted by an MLS team in the past four years.
The league will hold the third and fourth rounds of its draft Monday. The Sounders have one third-round selection (78th overall).
Rave Green players are filing back to the club this week with on-field training opening Tuesday at their Starfire Sports facility in Tukwila.
First-choice players forward Jordan Morris and midfielder Cristian Roldan aren’t available for the Sounders. They’ll participate in the U.S. men’s national team camp through the first week of February.
The U.S. will play a series of closed-door scrimmages in Florida and Los Angeles as part of its preparation for the CONCACAF Nations League semifinals in June and FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifying in September.
The Sounders open their 2020 schedule with a CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16 match against CD Olimpia on Feb. 20 in the Honduran club’s capital city, Tegucigalpa.
MLS play begins March 1. The Sounders host the Chicago Fire at CenturyLink Field.