Thursday, February 24, 2011

SOUNDERS FC: 2011 will be final season for Blaise Nkufo

The upcoming 2011 season will be the final season for forward Blaise Nkufo, Sounders coach Sigi Schmid announced in a teleconference with reporters.

The announcement, which many had already suspected, was confirmed when Scmid was questioned about the likelihood of trading players.

"You can never say never, but we’re in a situation where we have two players that are in their last year, Blaise Nkufo and Kasey Keller," he said. "You don’t want to move somebody if you are going to need them a year from now. That’s what we’re trying to balance right now.”

Nkufo, the former Swiss international, was signed in March of 2010 and joined the club following last years World Cup. He became the first player in Sounders FC history to record a hat trick and finished the season with five goals in 11 games.

A possible replacement for Nkufo could be Jamaican, O’brian White.

To Continue...White was a standout forward for the University of Uconn and led the nation with 23 goals. He was considered an extraordinary MLS prospect before injuring his knee in his senior year.

After two disappointing seasons with Toronto FC, where White scored only four goals, he was acquired by the Sounders in an offseason trade. This time White is determined to make the most of his opportunity.

"It's up to the athlete and how you want to look at it," White said of being traded. "You can look at it like, 'OK, it's just a change of environment.' Or you can look it like it's a different opportunity for me to come out, work hard and help the team win. That's the way I look at it."

At 6 foot 1, 175 pounds, White has impressed many with his combination of strength and speed. During training he finished second in sprints to only the lightning fast Steve Zakuani.

"I think this club is going to have a lot of joy with O'Brian White before the day is over," said Schmid earlier in camp.

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