BY Steve Rudman 05:51PM 01/13/2011

Ghana native tops five Sounders draft picks

The Sounders surprised by trading out of the first round of the MLS SuperDraft, taking UCSB midfielder with first choice

Sounders draft pick Servando Carrasco. (Kelley Cox/

The Seattle Sounders selected five players in the Major Soccer League SuperDraft Thursday.

Holding the 11th pick, the Sounders traded it to expansion Portland in exchange for allocation money and one international slot. The Sounders wound up with four picks in the second round and one in the third. With their first choice, the Sounders took Michael Tetteh, a midfielder from the University of California at Santa Barbara. The five players selected by Seattle on Thursday:

Michael Tetteh

PICK: Michael Tetteh



POSITION: Midfielder


HOMETOWN: Los Olivos, CA.

ACQUIRED: Selected in the second round (20th overall)

An All-Big West selection while playing for UC-Santa Barbara (2008-10), which routinely draws 10,000 to their matches, Tetteh was born in Ghana but attended Dunn High School in Los Olivos, CA., where he played forward, midfield and defender. Tetteh also played for Right to Dream Football Academy for six years and Santa Barbara Soccer Club for three years. Tetteh is a huge fan of Manchester United, and his favorite player is Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien, who also hails from Ghana. After the SuperDraft, Schmid said that Tetteh could provide cover on the left side as a defender and has the speed “to turn the corner” as a wide midfielder. He should help to fill the speed void left by Sanna Nyassi, who was snatched in the MLS Expansion Draft.

PICK: Juan Leone Cruz:

Juan Cruz



POSITION: Midfielder

AFFILIATION: Southern Methodist University

HOMETOWN: Round Rock, TX.

ACQUIRED: Selected in the second round (21st overall)

A defender at Southern Methodist, Cruz scored  nine goals during his four seasons at Southern Methodist, with a high of three in 2008. In 2010, he appeared in 17 games with one goal and three assists. Cruz attended Round Rock (TX.), High School, where he was a four-year letter winner and served as team captain. He earned first-team All-District honors as well as District Defensive Player of the Year honors. A member of the U-18 national team pool and a five-year member of the ODP regional team, he was a National Soccer Coaches of America Association (NSCAA) All-America selection. Played club soccer with the Austin Capital. After the SuperDraft, Schmid said, “Cruz is a defender who is also good with the ball and is a good passer of the ball. We were able to solidify the flanks and we were able to solidify the middle of the field.”

Servando Carrasco

PICK: Servando Carrasco

HEIGHT: 5-10


POSITION: Midfielder

AFFILIATION: University of California

HOMETOWN: San Diego, CA.

ACQUIRED: Selected in the second round (27th overall)

A multiple All-Pac-10 selection at Cal, Carrasco played for the Bears from 2007 through 2010. He started 70 of 73 matches and scored 11 goals with 13 assists and 39 points. Carrasco graduated from St. Augustine (San Diego) High School in 2006, and played on the varsity for three years. He was named the Western League Player of the Year, CIF (San Diego Section) Player of the Year and the San Diego Union-Tribune All-County Player of the Year as a senior. He spent the fall of 2006 training in Buenos Aires, at CEFAR (Centro Entrenamiento Futbol Alto Rendimiento); born Aug. 13, 1988, in Coronado, CA.

Bryan Merideth

PICK: Bryan Merideth



POSITION: Goalkeeper

AFFILIATION: Monmouth University

HOMETOWN: Scotch Plains, NJ

ACQUIRED: Selected in the second round (29th overall)

A four-year starter at Monmouth, a captain and a team leader, Merideth was an All-Northeast Conference selection. He attended Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School, where he was an adidas All-America in 2006. Named first-team all-state goalkeeper in 2004, 2005 and 2006, and was three-time all-state first-team by the Newark Star Ledger, and the Star Ledger County Player of the Year in 2006. Holds the state high school record for shutouts (47). Majored in communications. Born Aug. 2, 1989 in Summit, NJ. Merideth is a long-range project who might one day supplant Kasey Keller as Seattle’s No. 1 goalkeeper. But Keller, who has played for 20 years internationally and for two seasons with the Sounders, will remain Seattle’s No. 1 keeper in 2010.

Alex Caskey

PICK: Alex Caskey

HEIGHT: 5-10


POSITION: Midfielder

AFFILIATION: Davidson College

HOMETOWN: Dunwoody, GA

ACQUIRED: Selected in the third round (47th overall)

Caskey, a two-year team captain who played in and started all 76 Davidson matches the past four years, led the Wildcats in scoring in 2010 with a career-best 18 points on seven goals and four assists. He was named to the Southern Conference All-Conference first team for the third-consecutive season by the league’s coaches. He also earned NSCAA All-South Region second team honors for the second consecutive year and was named to the 2010 Southern Conference All-Tournament team. Four of his seven goals were game-winners, including the decisive goal in the ‘Cats win over eventual NCAA Tournament at-large selection College of Charleston in the first round of the Southern Conference tournament. During the regular season, he scored the Wildcats’ lone goal in 1-0 wins over Campbell, Gardner-Webb (OT) and Virginia Tech. Caskey also tallied an assist in Davidson’s draw with No. 13 UC Santa Barbara and a goal against No. 10 Duke. Caskey was the lone representative of the Southern Conference and was one of seven college seniors and five non-college players added to MLS Combine in advance of the SuperDraft.


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