What a year for Sam Rogers.
In the past seven months, the 18-year-old Seattle native trained with the First Team during preseason, transitioned from defensive midfielder to center back, signed a professional contract with S2, graduated from high school, then captained the U-18s to the best finish in team history.
Now he has been recognized as one of the top five teenagers in USL.
"It’s no surprise to us that Sam is starting to get widespread recognition because he’s a very talented player," Technical Director Marc Nicholls said. "I think his ability speaks for itself, with him earning a starting spot on S2 at just 17-years-old, especially with him playing a new position."
Rogers earned the No. 5 spot in USL’s “20 Under 20” rankings, which is an annual list compiled by the league’s technical directors and coaches, plus the staff from TopDrawerSoccer.com. The defender is S2’s lone representative in the 2017 edition.
In his first professional season, Rogers has made 15 appearances – all starts – and has recorded one goal while helping S2 stay in postseason contention. He made his First Team debut on June 13 in a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup win over Portland.
"All credit to Sam, he’s worked very hard to improve his game and continue to develop," Nicholls continued. "Credit to S2 as well for giving him the opportunity to showcase his talents. He’s still got a ways to go, but with his talent and recent progress we think he has a very bright future at the club."
Rogers also helped the U-18s earn a third place finish in the USSDA national tournament earlier this month and was named to the 2017 USSF Development Academy Western Conference Best XI.
"It really just confirms what we all believed: that there is a lot of talent coming through our Academy," Nicholls said. "You can see it from the number of USYNT call-ups we’ve had this past year, and with the success of our teams in the playoffs, that there are a lot of very talented players coming through."