With 2011 MLS roster compliance date only a week away, it’s likely the Seattle Sounders will have to cut one of their two drafted goalkeepers.
Bryan Meredith (pictured below) and Josh Ford (pictured above) haven’t been making that an easy decision. Both goalkeepers are currently in Seattle’s Bradenton training camp. Ford played the second half of Tuesday's match vs. Houston, while Meredith was in between the posts against FC Dallas on Monday.
"That one is a tremendous battle,” Sigi Schmid said Wednesday during a teleconference with reporters. “They're both great kids and I think they both have great futures in goal.”
[inline_node:329332]Schmid joked about finding a way to keep both goalkeepers. With captain Kasey Keller set to retire at the conclusion of the 2011 season, there could be room for all three in the future.
But in the short term, it looks like someone will have to move on.
Keller has been impressed with both netminders, who are battling for the third goalkeeper spot behind backup Terry Boss.
“Terry has pretty firmly established himself in that [backup] spot with his work over the past 18 months,” Keller said last week in Tukwila, Wash., “but the two rookies have come along and done a great job. They’ve assimilated into the team and into training very well.
“It’s been a good battle between the two of them, so much so that they’ve extended their—quote, unquote—'trial period' just because they are that close," Keller added. "We have enough respect for both of them and it’s going to be some tough choices.”
There may be another Designated Player spot available in Seattle next year. When asked about possible trades of strikers, Schmid indicated with some certainty that this would be Blaise Nkufo’s last season.
“We're in a situation where we've got two players that we pretty much know are in their last year, one is Kasey Keller and the other one is Blaise Nkufo,” Schmid said.
Schmid also indicated that between Zach Scott and Roger Levesque, finding a backup right back is “less of a concern” than it was in the offseason. James Riley is the incumbent at that position.