TUKWILA, Wash. – Recent signings Zach Mathers and Jordan Schweitzer are gearing up for their first season with Seattle Sounders FC 2 following a whirlwind preseason training with the Sounders first team.
Mathers and Schweitzer will lead S2 into their regular-season opener against Sacramento Republic FC at Starfire Sports in Tukwila on Friday (7:30 p.m. PT; Live Stream on SoundersFC.com)
“It was great to be with the first team for the first couple of weeks,” said Mathers. “Really looking to get some minutes and get some playing time under my belt.”
Mathers, a second-round draft pick in January, will slot into the midfield as both an attacking and holding mid option. Schweitzer, a Homegrown Player signed in January, will join Mathers in the midfield in a similar role to Osvaldo Alonso.
Schweitzer admitted last week that the Cuban linchpin is somebody he observes often in training.
“I’m a holding mid so anything Ozzie does is obviously something I look at, Schweitzer said. “But all the older guys are great so you try to see what they do on a daily basis. That’s what got them here, so you try to emulate that as much as you can.”
Head coach Ezra Hendrickson has been open about his philosophy of development outweighing wins, but that the two often go hand in hand. Schweitzer echoed Hendrickson’s beliefs in his own words at Friday’s training.
“We still want to win games, that’s our job,” said Schweitzer. “At any level you want to continue to develop and grow as a player but nothing changes; it’s about winning games.”
Unlike Schweitzer, who hails from the Seattle area, Mathers comes to the Sounders from Duke University and is unfamiliar to the organization. He told reporters on Friday that one of the things he’s most excited about is the match atmosphere.
“At a school like Duke I didn’t really have that many fans at our games,” said Mathers. “I’m really excited; I’ve heard about how awesome Sounders fans are.”