031415 Garza-Long
Chris Coulter/Charis Wilson

Sounders FC 2 signs defender Aaron Long and forward Sam Garza

SEATTLE, WASH. - Seattle Sounders FC 2 has signed defender Aaron Long and forward Sam Garza, the club announced today. Long joins S2 after originally signing with Sounders FC in July of 2014, while Garza most recently played for USL Side Arizona United SC.

Long, 22, was selected by the Portland Timbers in the second round of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft. He went out on loan twice, making five appearances for USL sides Sacramento Republic and the Orange County Blues. Prior to signing with the Timbers, Long made 17 appearances for FC Tucson of the USL PDL where he scored three goals.

“We switched Aaron from the midfield to centerback and we liked the way he has progressed so far,” said S2 Head Coach Ezra Hendrickson. “He has become much more aggressive and his passing out of the back has been huge for us. He has also worn the captain’s armband and we believe he has the experience and maturity to be a leader for S2.”

Long played college soccer at University of California Riverside, where he started all four years and recorded 13 goals and five assists. He was a two-time Big West All-Conference Selection.

“This is a good place to gain a lot of experience and playing time as you get ready to move-up to the First Team, because that’s everyone’s goal here,” said Long. “We are getting a lot of good results so far in preseason and it has been fun so far, we are starting to gel as a team.”

Garza, 25, was selected in the First Round (sixth overall) by the San Jose Earthquakes in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft as a Generation adidas player. In 2012, he made 12 appearances for San Jose and assisted Alan Gordon for an equalizing goal against Chivas USA. In 2014, Garza made nine appearances for Arizona United SC, scoring one goal.

“It’s a good feeling to sign with one of the best organizations in MLS,” said Garza. “I got to know the level of play in USL last year and I hope to bring experience and leadership to the squad this year.”

Garza also made seven appearances for the United States U-20 National Team between 2008 and 2009. He scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Canada in 2008. 

“Garza is one of the more talented players we have had in preseason this year,” said Hendrickson. “With his experience on and off the field having played in MLS, we felt like we needed him for his talents taking on defenders one-on-one, creating space for our forwards.” 

S2 continues its preseason training this Sunday with a scrimmage against USL opponent Whitecaps FC 2 at 1:00 p.m. PT on field 12 at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila. Long, Garza and Hendrickson will be available for comment following Sunday’s scrimmage. Members of the media interested in attending should contact Branden Griffith [BrandenG@SoundersFC.com] for more information, as specific times and locations are subject to change. 

The club opens its inaugural USL campaign on March 21 against defending USL Champion Sacramento Republic FC. Tickets to that match, as well as season ticket options – including all 14 regular season, post-season and S2 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup games – are available via sndrs.com/ut4w.

Transaction: Seattle Sounders FC 2 signs defender Aaron Long and forward Sam Garza on March 14, 2015.

Name: Aaron Long
Position: Defender
Height: 6-1
Weight: 173
Born: October 12, 1992, in Oak Hills, California
Citizenship: United States
Acquired: Signed to S2 roster on March 14, 2015
Previous Experience: Orange County Blues (2014), Sacramento Republic (2014), FC Tucson (2012-2013)

Name: Sam Garza
Position: Forward
Height: 5-11
Weight: 160
Born: October 17, 1989 in Highland Village, Texas
Citizenship: United States
Acquired: Signed to S2 roster on March 14, 2015
Previous Experience: Arizona United SC (2014), San Antonio Scorpions (2014), San Jose Earthquakes (2012-2014)