Sounders FC is just days from starting training camp for the 2014 season and on Tuesday added two more players to its camp roster.
Seattle completed its 2014 SuperDraft class by selecting 21-year-old Suriname forward/midfielder Stefano Rijssel and Brazilian midfielder Fabio Pereira in the final rounds of the annual draft on Thursday.
“We’re surprised Fabio fell so far and we think Stefano is a good, young player,” Seattle Assistant Coach and Head Scout Kurt Schmid said. “They both have qualities that we like and look like they have the ability to compete for a roster spot and become a member of our team.”
Rijssel, 21, played for W Connection in Trinidad for the last two years, scoring seven goals in 16 matches. Playing with one of the stronger teams in the Caribbean, Rijssel has CONCACAF Champions League experience with W Connection. He started his career in his native Suriname before moving to Trinidad for the 2012-13 season. He first caught Seattle’s eye at the Caribbean Combine and he continued to impress at the MLS Combine this month.
“He showed a pretty good tactical sense of his position. That can be tough to do with a group of guys you just met,” Schmid said. “He’s got some good qualities.”
The 22-year-old Pereira played 79 matches over four seasons at Michigan, netting 13 goals and 22 assists, including six goals and eight assists as a junior in 2012. Born and raised in Brazil, Pereira moved to the U.S. in high school. Pereira is versatile in the midfield, but plays mostly in central roles.
“He’s been the playmaker for his team. He’s got a good engine and he can cover some ground,” Schmid said. “He understands the game, his vision is good and his passing is good.”
Rijssel and Pereira join a draft class that already included center backs Damion Lowe and Jimmy Ockford, who were selected in the first two rounds of the SuperDraft last week.