The Sounderrs drafted a pair of defenders, Damion Lowe of the University of Hartford and Jimmy Ockford of Louisville, in the first phase of the MLS SuperDraft Thursday, conducted at the Philadelphia Convention Center. The selections of Lowe and Ockford add depth to the position after the club traded Patrick Ianni and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado to the Chicago Fire Wednesday.
The Sounders took the 21-year-old Lowe with the eighth choice, acquired in the Ianni-Hurtado trade, in the first round, and the 22-year-old Ockford with the second-round pick, 21st overall. The Sounders acquired the pick in the Shalrie Joseph trade with Chivas USA in February.
The 6-foot-3, 175-pound Lowe, a native of Jamaica, played three seasons at Hartford. As a junior, he was named second team all-Northeast region and first team All-America East Conference while leading his team’s defense to a 0.84 goals-against-average, a school record. Lowe was also named to the America East all-tournament team and converted his penalty kick in a semifinal shootout win before Hartford lost tournament final. Lowe ranked third on his team in scoring with five goals and two assists.
As a sophomore in 2012, Lowe produced three goals and one assist and, as a freshman in 2011, missed the first 12 games due to an injury in preseason but returned to start and play in nine matches.
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Ockford transferred to Louisville last year after three years at Mount St. Mary’s and made an immediate impact in his senior season, helping Louisville to the inaugural American Athletic Conference title. Ockford was named AAC Defender of the Year after scoring four goals. Ockford is a native of Yardley, PA.
As a result of the Joseph trade, the Sounders also own Chivas USA’s second-round SuperDraft pick next year.
The third and fourth rounds of the SuperDraft will be held Tuesday.