With the 2023 MLS Superdraft quickly approaching (remember, it's actually in December this year), I decided to take a look at a few players to watch out for when it comes to the Sounders in the draft. These are some players who could be targets for Seattle in the draft in terms of talent, need, and draft position. For a list of all the players available, here is the eligible player list from MLS.
Seattle currently owns two picks in the draft: #9 overall (first round) and #38 overall (ninth pick of the second round). Seattle traded their third round pick (#67 overall) to Chicago last offseason in exchange for the rights to Jackson Ragen.
In terms of positions to watch, I believe that Seattle has a need at forward. Will Bruin had his option declined and Fredy Montero is a free agent. While Seattle won't necessarily want a SuperDraft pick starting up top, it is a position they could use depth/a young prospect at. Left-back also seems to be the other main position of need. You also can't rule out Seattle just going for the best player on the board. Here are some players to watch:
F Duncan McGuire (Creighton)=
McGuire burst onto the scene with an insane 2022 season in which he scored 23 goals for a Blue Jays squad who made a run all the way to the NCAA Semifinals. McGuire was named Big East Offensive Player of the Year and second team United Soccer Coaches All-America for his efforts this season. McGuire played three years at Creighton. Most of his damage came this past year in his Junior season. Overall for his career, McGuire scored 28 goals (with six assists) across 55 matches/32 starts. McGuire was one of the, if not the, most prolific goalscorers in college soccer this past year and could provide a spark to the Sounders attack.
F Levonte Johnson (Syracuse)=
Johnson was the co-leading scorer for the 2022 NCAA National Champion Syracuse Orange. He scored 11 goals on the season, and also added six assists. This was Johnson's only season at Syracuse, after previously starring at Seattle University. Johnson is an older prospect, coming as a senior out of Syracuse. However, when you're talking about a player who was big of a contributor as Johnson was for the national champions, he is definitely an intriguing pick. Johnson was a first team United Soccer Coaches All-American this season.
D Gabriel Alves (Marshall)=
Alves scored one goal and added a single assist on the season for the Thundering Herd. He started all 17 matches he appeared in. Alves has the ability to play several positions along the backline, but I think he would likely slot in at LB in Seattle. Alves, out of Brazil, is a player that would occupy an International Roster Spot should he be drafted. However, Alves might be worth that for the Sounders as one of the top LBs in the draft.
MF Christian Soto (Washington)=
Soto is a local prospect (both originally and collegiately) who also showed some versatility at Washington. Part of the reason I'm including Soto in the list is as a local product (originally out of Des Moines, Wash.), but he is also extremely talented. Soto helped lead Washington to a 15-2-3 season, even if they fell in the second round of the NCAA tournament to McGuire's Creighton. Soto scored four goals on the year, while starting every match for the Huskies. Soto was a first team All-Pac 12 selection this year. He can play both inside in the midfield, or on the outside at winger.
F/D Isaiah Reid (Clemson)=
Reid is an interesting player. He was a striker at Clemson, but reportedly worked out some as a left-back at the MLS College Showcase. With both of those positions being positions to watch for Seattle, I think this could be a very intriguing match. Reid helped lead Clemson to the NCAA tournament, where they fell in the second round. Reid scored three goals on the year across 17 matches (13 starts) for the Tigers. Reid really made his name in 2021, as he scored nine goals (along with three assists) en route to Clemson winning the National Championship (and Reid became a hero with a two goal performance in the title game). Whatever position his future is at, he should be an intriguing offensive option.
I also want to mention three other players to potentially watch: Robert Screen (Kentucky), Daniel Munie (Indiana), and Ethan Conley (UNC-Greensboro). All three of these players are CBs with questions and/or versatility that could see them mainly play outside-back at the next level. If Seattle views any of them as a LB, then they very well could be one of the Sounders' picks.