Ockford 7/5

SEATTLE, WASH. – Sounders FC today announced that it has recalled defender Jimmy Ockford from his current loan with NASL side New York Cosmos for tonight’s friendly against West Ham United at CenturyLink Field (7:30 p.m. PT / JOEtv, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360 AM). Additionally, Sounders FC 2 defender Michael Nelson and midfielder Zach Mathers have signed a short-term agreements with the club and are also available for tonight’s match.

On March 1 of this year, it was announced that Ockford had been loaned to the Cosmos of the North American Soccer League, the second-division of the U.S. soccer pyramid, where he has started eight of his 10 appearances this season.  The third-year pro previously spent the 2014 season on loan with the Cosmos, scoring two goals in 10 regular-season appearances for the club, adding an additional strike in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play.

Ockford, 24, was originally drafted by Seattle in the Second Round (21st overall) in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft. He made one MLS appearance for the Rave Green in 2015, starting and playing all 90 minutes in a road match against the Philadelphia Union. Ockford is set to return to the Cosmos following Tuesday night’s friendly.

Nelson, 21, has 12 appearances for S2, recording one assist as rookie in 2016. He was selected by Sounders FC in the Fourth Round (77th overall) in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft in January. The Old Dominion product earned First Team All-Conference USA and NSCAA First Team All-Southwest Region honors in his senior season in 2015. After playing his freshman season at North Carolina State in 2012, Nelson transferred to Old Dominion, where he registered four goals and four assists in 54 career appearances (53 starts) for the Monarchs from 2013-2015.

This is the third short-term agreement for Mathers, with the S2 rookie having previously been called-up for both Sounders FC Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup matches versus Kitsap on June 15 and Real Salt Lake on June 28.

Mathers has appeared in 12 games for S2 this season, recording one goal and two assists. The rookie was selected in the Second Round (35th overall) in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft this January out of Duke University, where he was a three-time All-ACC selection and led the Blue Devils with eight goals and eight assists in in 2015.

MLS clubs may sign players from their USL affiliate to short-term agreements (up to four-day contracts) for CONCACAF Champions League, AMWAY Canadian Championship, Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and exhibition matches. An MLS club may sign a player to a maximum of four short-term agreements each season (maximum of 16 days).

Following tonight’s friendly against West Ham United, Sounders FC returns to MLS action this Saturday with a nationally-televised fixture against Western Conference rival LA Galaxy (12:00 p.m. PT / ESPN, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360 AM).



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