Cole Seiler wasn’t at the 2016 MLS SuperDraft on Thursday, when Vancouver Whitecaps FC selected him with their first-round pick (16th overall).
But he had a good reason.
Seiler’s father is a doctor and one of his business partners recently passed away, so he was unable to clear his schedule. Seiler’s mom offered to drive him up to the draft, but he opted to stay at home to be with his parents.
“I thought it was kind of important since the fact that my mom and dad sacrificed so much for me to get this opportunity,” he said. “I needed to be together with them so I decided to stay at home.”
Can’t blame him.
Despite not attending the draft, Seiler was still put through the media ringer on Thursday on a conference call with local media. See below for a summary of the call.
ON THE MLS PLAYER COMBINE:
Going into the combine, I was a little nervous because a lot of recognition had been placed on my fellow teammate who I play next to, Josh Yaro, who went number two in the draft. I wasn’t really sure how many teams actually knew who I was, but I played fairly well down in Florida. I came in well prepared.
And when it came to Monday, I had three meetings with New York Red Bulls, Seattle Sounders FC, and Vancouver Whitecaps FC. It was a little bit daunting when I first entered there. You’re in a ballroom and all seven of the staff are there in this grand ballroom. But after I introduced myself and got to talking with the coaches, specifically Coach Carl, I really enjoyed the conversation.
I knew they were familiar with who I was and it sounded like they were really interested in developing me as a player, which I was really hoping for in a club. By all means, that was the best meeting I had.
ON WHETHER HE’S BEEN TO CANADA:
I have. I’ve been to Montreal and Toronto on past family vacations. But never on the West Coast.
ON TIM PARKER:
Specifically, in my meeting, the Whitecaps asked if I knew anything about their club and the first thing I brought up was Tim. We played in the same conference and we competed against each other.
I actually really try to emulate my game after his. He’s a bigger guy but when it’s time for a tackle, he doesn’t shy away. He gets stuck in. But he also wows people with his foot ability and his skill, so I definitely try to emulate my game after his.
ON HIS TIME AT GEORGETOWN:
I actually came in as a forward. In preseason, it came down to Brandon Allen and myself as to who was going to be taking over that starting position. It became clear on day one that Brandon was more capable at that spot than I was.
Luckily, there was another opening at centre back and there was a senior there, Tommy Muller who used to play for San Jose Earthquakes, who kind of took me under his wing and definitely Coach Samol as well. He could be a pain in the ass to be honest at certain times, just how detail-oriented he was, but it became apparent in my meeting with Vancouver that those details were noticed by them. It could be kind of painful watching hours and hours of film but at the end of the day it was a blessing in disguise and it shows in my play, I think.
ON JOINING A CLUB THAT PLAYS YOUNG PLAYERS:
Definitely. That was mentioned in my meeting as well. They specifically asked what my strengths and weaknesses were. We were on the same page. What I was really looking forward to was playing and training in an environment where coaches actually seemed invested in developing the players – not just winning and losing. In my meeting with Coach Carl and his staff, that definitely came through.
ON POTENTIALLY PLAYING WITH WFC2:
I actually trained with Seattle this summer and was in their first team and second team. What I really enjoyed when I was with the first team is that I was able to take some feedback from the coaches, process it, and then try to implement it at not as high a level. So whether it be with the first team or second team, I’m just looking forward to the opportunity to develop myself skills.
ON PLAYING RIGHT BACK:
That was actually mentioned to me at the beginning of this year by one of my past teammates who’s still in MLS. He told me that’s one thing I need to show, being a versatile player and not just strictly a centre back because the opportunities might present themselves at the next level at different positions.
They threw me there a bit at the combine. I haven’t played so much in college because we had Keegan Rosenberry, who definitely solidified his spot there as you can see with him being the third overall pick. It’s definitely a part of my game that I’m hoping to work on and maybe show some of my striker past.
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