What happens in Vegas…could lead to a professional contract.
Last weekend, 64 athletes converged on the campus of University of Nevada, Las Vegas for Sounders FC 2 Open Tryouts. All were there to prove why they deserve a chance to compete with S2 in the team’s inaugural campaign in 2015.
Participants arrived on Saturday for warm-ups, drills and seven-a-side scrimmages. S2 General Manager Andrew Opatkiewicz and Sounders FC Head Scout Kurt Schmid selected 22 participants to return on Sunday for an 11-a-side scrimmage in a last-chance opportunity to leave an impression.
“We’re really pleased with the level and number of talented players that came out for our first open tryouts,” said Opatkiewicz. “We got to see players we wouldn’t normally see including internationals and players from different parts of the U.S. like Southern California, Arizona and the Las Vegas area. We found multiple players that we’ll be keeping an eye on.”
Over the next month, Hendrickson and Sounders FC technical staff will deliberate and reward at least one player from tryouts with an S2 trial.
“You look for a base level of technical ability. You want to see that their technique is where it needs to be. You want to see they have a physical quality whether it is size, strength, speed or quickness; you want something that sets them apart physically. You also look for their tactical awareness,” said Schmid. “We are really looking for those three things and trying to find the best qualities as far as those three traits are concerned.”
Sunday’s scrimmage ended 3-2 after a last-minute go-ahead goal that gave Opatkiewicz’s team the win over Schmid’s.
“I think there were definitely a couple guys we can bring into a further trial with S2,” Schmid added.
Over the next few weeks, MLS rosters will be shaken up and tweaked as coaches utilize the open trade window looking to improve their squad. Sounders FC coaches and technical staff will look to balance the development structure of the First Team with the desire for S2 compete at a high level in USL PRO.
“I don’t think there is a complete battle between winning and development. You want to find guys that have the ability and are at the right age to move on to help the First Team, but you also want to find guys that are talented enough to help S2,” said Schmid. “Part of the development of those S2 players is learning how to win games and how to be successful. Ultimately we want players with the First Team who are successful, and that’s something we will help them learn with S2.”
With season tickets going on sale last Monday, a third of the stadium has already been sold out for the 2015 season, which begins in March. Get your own tickets and catch the inaugural season at the following link: