15. Seattle Sounders: Dom Dwyer, F, University of South Florida
The mock draft had a Generation Adidas player fall to 15 so the pick was fairly easy. That it is a player that is likely in the draft due to some input from Seattle Sounders FC makes it all the better. In Dom Dwyer they get a player in some ways similar to Steve Zakuani in that he looked to the American college game to reignite his footballing career. Unlike Zakuani it wasn't injury that kept him from succeeding, but an attachment to a small club.
Though early combine reports are marginal, his season with University of South Florida in the Big East earned him Offensive Player of the Year and 2nd Team All-America. He was one of the last players to sign a GA deal this year. Listed at 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds he's a strong and fast forward who nets goals through off-ball movement, speed and quick trigger.
For the Sounders he would play a high forward in similar style to Mike Fucito rather than Sammy Ochoa. His conversion to the American game succeeded in Junior College when he had 37 goals in 2010. In one of the best conferences in NCAA Division I he netted 16 goals and two assists. While Seattle doesn't "need" another goal-scorer the ability to get a player who has no cap hit makes this a near no-brainer. In the real draft his stock may be falling due to the MLS Combine, but since Seattle saw him in their Vegas Combine they'd have more data on the player than most other teams.
34. Sounders: Jamie Finch, FB, Washington
With the Seattle Sounders doing things a bit different than other teams (Vegas Combine, heavily lean to Southern California players and a history of going for those not on national boards) a short list of players filled the short board for Sounder at Heart. Those players went with picks 31 (Gaddis), 32 (Allen) and 33 (Ibarra). With options quickly dwindling the pick of Jamie Finch may be a bit of a stretch, but there's little evidence that a pick in the mid 30s should be anything but a flyer that may succeed.
The University of Washington Husky played in 2011 for a coach that knows MLS (Coach Jamie Clark played in MLS, played in college with two Sounders and coached two current MLS players) and is local to the Sounders. The left back played on a strong defensive side and finished third in assists on the team with five. He finished his college career with 11. Finch is one of two remaining Husky seniors in Joe Mauceri's Big Board top 42 and one of the better players not at the MLS Combine.
Coach Clark told Sounder at Heart after the season that Finch, recent Portland Timbers HomeGrown signing Brent Richards and Jacob Hustedt could all make an MLS team in 2012. Though he'd be competing in a crowded leftback situation an addition there is not out of the question. Seattle could shift current GA Michael Tetteh to a midfield role where his strengths seem to lie. As someone who started a bit late in his focus on soccer only he can and should still develop. His youth soccer time, like all in this draft, is before the formal USSDA system was established. He played with Emerald City FC for club soccer and Inglemoor High.
These picks were made by Dave Clark, managing editor of Sounders blog Sounder at Heart.