In first MLS preseason Lowe has looked the part
Posted by: Matt Gaschk
The lanky center back has transitioned nicely into professional soccer after a productive first preseason trip to Tucson.
Entering his first professional training camp, Damion Lowe may feel like he has a lot to prove, but it hasn’t slowed him down in the first weeks of preseason.
Sounders FC selected the Jamaican center back with the eighth overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft last month. He has already been able to show the qualities that earned the 20-year-old a Generation adidas contract and Seattle’s faith to pick him with its earliest draft pick since selecting Steve Zakuani first overall in 2009.
“Certainly some of the young guys have done reasonably well. Damion Lowe has done well and shown the potential that he possesses for us down the line,” Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid said.
Through the early parts of training camp, Lowe was a standout despite limited options to evaluate players because of the team’s focus on fitness work. The 6-foot-3 rookie from the University of Hartford showed to be a strong 1v1 defender that wins balls in the air, too. That was further emphasized in his 150 minutes that he has played in three appearances thus far in preseason.
With Djimi Traore, Chad Marshall, Jalil Anibaba and Zach Scott also in the center back battle, Lowe has plenty of experienced players to learn from along the way. Two things that have already proven fruitful to him are his conversations with Traore on and off the field and the closeness of the team, making him feel like he is part of the group from the first practice.
“I was pretty welcome. The guys saw me as a brother,” Lowe said. “The whole environment feels like a new home. I feel welcome, like a family, and I’m glad for that.”
Lowe continues to work on things like his angles of pursuit, his passing and adjusting to the speed of play, all while adapting to the new environment of professional soccer. His work ethic has carried him through the early stages of camp, but already he is looking forward to seeing some other teams on the field.
“I knew it was going to be hard because I’m a rookie. I know I have to work hard in the practice sessions,” Lowe said. “But when the games come around, it’s going to get easier.”
Sounders FC is 3-0-1 in preseason play and will be in Seattle until February 19, when camp will shift to Charleston, SC, for matches against the Charleston Battery, Houston Dynamo and DC United.