The Sounders FC brain trust is in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, this week at the MLS Combine watching some of the top college soccer players from around the country in final preparations for this week’s SuperDraft. While there, they have seen two very familiar faces in UW products George John and Raphael Cox.
John, a 6-foot-4 defensive midfielder who also played center back in his Husky days, is projected to go within the first two rounds of Thursday’s draft despite missing the last five games of the season with a knee injury.
"It’s an uphill climb for George because of his rehab. There’s no player who is so good that they can step on the field for the first time and be in top form," said UW Head Coach Dean Wurzberger. "I think he’s done enough for teams to look at the whole package though."
Added Sounders FC Technical Director Chris Henderson, "He’s got good size and skill. He was a key part of their team and I think it hurt them quite a bit when they lost him for some games."
John, a Shoreline, Washington native, finished his UW career with nine goals and eight assists in 65 games.
Cox played his three years at Montlake as an outside midfielder after one year at Highline Community College in Des Moines, Washington. He led the Huskies with 20 points in his senior season, tallying seven goals and six assists to earn First Team All Pac-10 honors and an invitation to the MLS Combine.
"He is a lefty with good pace … he works hard to get up and down the field," Henderson said. "He causes some players some problems because he’s not afraid to take them on one-on-one."
The Tacoma, Washington native notched 14 goals and 17 assists in 59 games over three years with the Huskies.
The UW duo has done nothing to hurt their respective causes in the first days of the Combine, according to Sounders FC Assistant Coach Brian Schmetzer.
"They are not so far ahead of the pack, but they certainly aren’t letting their teams down," said Schmetzer, who categorized players into three categories. "There is the best ten players, the bottom ten players, then about 40 really good players to sift through in between and they fit into that group."
The SuperDraft will be held on Thursday at 11 am in St. Louis, Missouri. Check in to www.SoundersFC.com for up-to-the minute updates from the SuperDraft.