It is a cloudy Monday morning with temperatures in the mid-60s, and midfielder Adam Moffat reports to his first training session with Seattle Sounders FC.
His first words to a reporter are, “I’m freezing, man.”
This is a guy who was born in Scotland, and began his career there. A guy who has played in Oregon and Ohio. However, until the end of last week he was playing for Houston, so now the Northwest feels cold.
But that doesn’t mean that he isn’t happy to be here.
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“The (Sounders’) reputation is the best in the league, for sure,” he said. “You hear from any guy who’s played here, and just the way the organization is run, it’s first class. It has to be one you want to play for. I know MLS, and everyone is supposedly even, but that’s not the case. The teams are run in different ways, and here they look after their players, and everyone knows about that. I’m delighted to be here. I think
everyone I spoke to said, ‘Yeah, Seattle. You’re going to go a good place.’ So, I’m happy about that.”
The Sounders also are happy with the trade they swung last week, acquiring Moffat from the Dynamo in exchange for midfielder Servando Carrasco and a second-round draft pick. And that’s not just because of scouting reports.
Seattle coach Sigi Schmid worked with Moffat when they were both at Columbus, and Sounders midfielder Brad Evans played alongside him there.
Both give glowing reports.
“At the end of the day when you want to win an MLS Cup it’s beneficial to have that experience,” Evans said. “ What else he will bring is that shot from distance; and that’s something if we implement that I think we’re coming at everybody from all angles. It will be great in the locker room: He brings good banter; he’s a great guy.”
Moffat, 27, was born in Glasgow. His career seemed mired in the Scottish third division with Elgin City when in 2007 he got an offer to come to the States to join the USL Cleveland City Stars. After a season, he moved to MLS Columbus, went to Portland in the 2011 expansion draft, and then was sent to Houston, where he played from 2011 until his trade Friday.
For much of that path, the Sounders were watching. Schmid indicated Moffat was Seattle’s second choice from Columbus in the expansion draft, but they selected Evans instead. And Schmid said if he had known the Timbers were looking to trade him, the Sounders would have made an offer.
Finally, the two have been reunited, and Schmid thinks Moffat has something to offer the league-leading Sounders as they head into the final seven games of the regular season, starting Saturday at Los Angeles.
“He’s a player I think has a lot of good qualities,” Schmid said. “He can adjust his game to fit with the guy he’s playing with, and that’s important.”
Despite trading the humid heat of East Texas for the damp chill of Puget Sound, Moffat said he’s excited about the trade.
“I was shocked at first. I didn’t see it coming,” he said. “And then I was told it was Seattle, and it was a good thing. My wife is from the West Coast, the team is doing great. Sometimes you see those trades happen at that point of the season, and it’s guys going to a team at the bottom of the table and stuff like that and it’s tough. I’m coming to a great place. It’s amazing the form the team is in, and I hope to add to that.”
Sounders forward Obafemi Martins was named MLS player of the week after recording a goal and an assist Saturday in Seattle’s 2-0 win over Real Salt Lake. The Sounders’ record-breaking attendance will be featured on “Real Sports with Bryant Gumble,” with the new episode premiering on HBO at 10 p.m. Tuesday and repeating through Oct. 6.
Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808 firstname.lastname@example.org/soccer