INDIANAPOLIS – It was a day filled with trades and timeouts, but at the end of the day, the Sounders FC got what they sought at the MLS SuperDraft, trading into the top ten to select Eriq Zavaleta, then nabbing Dylan Remick in the second round to add young depth to their roster heading into training camp on Monday.
Originally slated to pick 16th overall, the Sounders saw Zavaleta falling below where they projected him as each pick was made. By the time the Montreal Impact picked Blake Smith with the eighth pick, Seattle started to make a move.
They talked with Toronto FC, who held the 10th pick and made an offer. However, it wasn’t enough to entice Toronto to make the pick. When time was winding down on the clock, and the announcement that came wasn’t Toronto’s selection, but rather that the Sounders FC had called timeout, it became apparent that something was afoot.
It turned out to be a swap that sent the 16th pick along with allocation money to Toronto FC in exchange for the 10th pick, which Seattle used on Zavaleta, a versatile forward who won a championship at Indiana University.
“We are very excited to get Eriq Zavaleta. We had him in the top four in our various lists and thought he would go early,” Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said. “When he was still there, we figured if we could trade up and get him, it was worth trading up for.”
The son of former El Salvador National Team member Carlos Zavaleta and nephew of former MLS and US National Team defender Greg Vanney, Zavaleta has soccer in his blood.
He played two seasons at Indiana, finishing with 28 goals and nine assists, including a stellar season of 18 goals and four assists as a sophomore, prompting him to leave school early after being offered a Generation adidas contract with Major League Soccer. A forward at the college level, the Sounders left the option open to move him back the center back role that he played before his collegiate days.
“My first instinct is that he is going to play as a defender,” Schmid said. “It depends on what our needs are early in the season. He’s good at holding the ball. He’s smart. As a defender, he reads the game very well, he’s good in the air, his positional play is very good and his passing is very good out of the back. When you have a defender who is a good passer out of the back, that always helps.”
In the second round, the Sounders also tried to move up, but instead stuck with their pick, 35th overall, to select Remick. Afterward, Schmid said they rated Remick very high.
A left back from Brown University, Remick played 71 matches over four years, notching a career-high seven assists in earning his third All-Ivy First Team selection in his senior season in 2012.
Born in Chicago, Remick was a star track athlete in high school, winning the sectional championship in the 400 meters twice and finishing eighth in the state finals as a senior.
“He was really steady and simple and everything he did was solid,” Schmid said. “He’s a very, very good athlete. We are very happy to get him when we got him.”
The Sounders have five picks in the Supplemental Draft on Tuesday, holding Nos. 5, 16, 35, 54 and 73 in the four-round draft. They open training camp on Monday at Starfire.