Sounders seriously looking at two more West African players who are making an impression.
The Sounders continue to flirt with African talent. Two invited players have been impressing the coaching staff and are competing to make the travel squad to Arizona, if not the roster.
Edouard Kabamba shares a birthplace with Steve Zakuani and Blaise Nkufo (Democratic Republic of Congo). He scored the best goal of the training session Friday at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton. Kabamba, 24, is a forward and wide midfielder. He started his career with Standard Liege FC in 2003 and made his first-team debut in 2008 in the Belgium Super Cup against RSC Anderlecht.
Kabamba comes with pace and has demonstrated a powerful shot. He pulled up short Friday with a leg strain. Kabamba also played for the Real Madrid reserves before suffering an injury. Chris Henderson, Sounders technical director, heard about him through a friend in Spain, and then things happened from there, and Standard Liege is willing to loan the player. But Kabamba has to make the team. “He’s got very good speed and he scored a great goal today,” coach Sigi Schmid said.
Gambian Seedy Bah, 18, also has been getting a long look and appears to be pushing for one of the final four roster spots. Bah comes from the Colorado Rush Academy program through a Rush Academy in Gambia located in the capital of Banjul. Henderson knows the Rush organization well, having coached for them while playing for the Colorado Rapids back in the day.
Bah held his own in the 11 v 11 scrimmage, playing as a right midfielder, but he prefers playing in the middle and said he needs to improve his defense. He’s got pace, strong technical skills and looked comfortable playing against men. This guy is perking some interest.
Schmid said Bah is one of eight players the staff is considering for the final four spots. “He’s been good. He’s played well,” Schmid said. “He usually puts his stuff on goal. We’ve been very very happy with that.”
If desire counts for anything, Bah should prevail. For Bah and other Africans, soccer is more than playing the game. It’s about putting food on the table for his family in Gambia. “I believe in what I can do,” said Bah, who comes from a very poor family in Bakou. “My mom is taking care of everything. Every day I think of her. I’m ready to kill myself to get a contract so that I can help her.”
And if he doesn’t get a contract here? “I try more and more to get a contract with someone else,” he said. He’ll also return to Rush Academy team if he doesn’t secure a pro contract.
developing team spirit among players and coaches. “Obviously, it’s very quiet,” Schmid. ” Theres not a lot to do so you can concentrate and focus.”