The Sounders Tuesday signed two of their 2015 MLS SuperDraft selections, defender Oniel Fisher (second round, 40th overall) and goalkeeper Charlie Lyon (fourth round, 75th overall). The club added both to the first-team roster, which now includes 28 players.
“I’m excited to add two good young players,” said general manager Garth Lagerwey. “Charlie and Oniel have worked really hard throughout preseason training camp and they’ve earned it. We’re excited about their futures.”
Fisher spent two seasons at the University of New Mexico, where he started 34 of 39 appearances and recorded four goals – all game-winners — and three assists. He started 16 of his 17 appearances as a senior, scoring three goals and assisting on another.
As a junior, he was part of a Lobos squad that advanced to the national semifinals of the NCAA Tournament, finishing 14-6-2 with 11 shutouts. He netted the game-winner in New Mexico’s 2-0 Sweet 16 victory over Penn State, then assisted the lone goal in a 1-0 win over Washington in the Elite Eight.
“It’s a great opportunity and I’m excited about the decision that the technical staff made,” said Fisher. “This is all I’ve ever wanted and all I’ve been working for my entire life. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be here and be a part of a great team and a great city with passionate fans.”
Lyon twice was first-team All-Big East selection for the Golden Eagles and a co-recipient of the 2014 Big East Goalkeeper of the Year Award.. He recorded nine clean sheets in 18 appearances with a 0.74 goals against average as a senior. He set a program record with eight consecutive shutouts and owns the 10th-longest shutout streak in NCAA Division I history, keeping opponents off the board for nearly nine matches in 2014.
“Seattle is an amazing club and I’m excited to be a part of it,” said Lyon. “I’m going to do my best to help out the team in any way that I can. I haven’t seen a fan base that rivals Seattle’s in this country.”
Fisher and Lyon trained with the Sounders throughout the preseason, with Lyon appearing in five of seven friendlies and Lyon suiting up in two.
“I’m excited about signing Charlie Lyon. I think he’s a good young goalkeeper with great potential. We’re very pleased that he’ll be with us for the season,” said coach Sigi Schmid. “Oniel Fisher is a player that showed very well in the preseason. He’s got speed, he’s quick, he’s good on the ball and has shown an ability to get forward in the attack. He’s another young addition to our team that will make us stronger.”
The Sounders host an international friendly March 24 against Mexican side Club Tijuana (7 p.m.). The club returns to MLS action March 28 at FC Dallas (5:30 p.m. PT / Q13 FOX).