Like a No. 3 NFL quarterback, a No. 3 MLS goalkeeper rarely appears in league games — nor even dresses for them.
So it might have seemed a mighty minor news item this week when Seattle Sounders coach Sigi Schmid proclaimed rookie Charlie Lyon the last man standing for his team’s third goalkeeper slot behind returning starter Stefan Frei and incoming veteran Troy Perkins.
“We really didn’t keep anybody else,” Schmid said. “Right now he’s done a good enough job. We’ve been happy with what he’s doing.”
However, Lyon could be a busier man with a higher profile than previous players in his position, because this season the No. 3 Sounders goalkeeper could also start for the new Sounders 2 USL team. Maybe.
“That’s something that we’re still talking about and clarifying it,” Schmid said. “But we’ll have two keepers with us, and probably our No. 3 keeper will get the time with S2. There might be certain occasions where we want to drop our second keeper down for a game. That’s something we’ll delve into as we move along in the season; but probably our No. 3 keeper would be the S2 keeper.”
One way or the other, Lyon is looking forward to spending his first professional season in Seattle.
“It’s a fantastic club, and I’d love to be a part of it in any capacity,” Lyon said. “The work I’ve been able to get with the coaching staff has been awesome.”
Last season at Marquette, Lyon was co-recipient of the Big East goalkeeper of the year award after recording nine shutouts in 18 appearances and a 0.74 goals-against average. He is 6-foot-2, 215 pounds. The Sounders selected him with the 75th overall pick in the January SuperDraft.
Like most rookies, he has noticed one big change from college to the pros.
“Speed,” he said. “It’s a much quicker game. Players are much more technical, and they execute much more consistently. That’s been what I’ve been working on: not only doing things well and doing it to a higher level, but doing it quicker and doing it every time.”
Sounders 2 announced its first signings Thursday: Gambian midfielder Amadou Sanyang and former Sounders FC Academy midfielder Duncan McCormick.
Sanyang, 23, has appeared in 20 MLS games, including one with the Sounders in 2011, before he was transferred to USL Charleston.
McCormick, 19, had seven goals in 29 starts with the Sounders Academy U-18 team in 2013-14. He also spent a season in the Spanish third division.
“(Sanyang) has been in the area before, so we thought we need sort of an experienced player, a little bit of an anchor there that you can hold onto,” Schmid said. “And Duncan was an academy kid who didn’t want to go to college — had some college offers and situations for him. We didn’t think he was quite ready for our team and a contact there.
“It’s good, because that’s exactly the alternative route that we want to present to kids: that if they don’t want to go to college, that this is another route to get into our first team.”
S2 is in preseason training in Tukwila and will scrimmage Gonzaga there at 1 p.m. Saturday. The club begins its USL season March 21 at Starfire Sports Stadium against defending USL champion Sacramento Republic FC.
The Sounders will conclude Desert Diamond Cup play at 4 p.m. Saturday against Sporting Kansas City. The teams had met last Saturday with SKC winning, 3-2. A rematch became inevitable when the only two participants Seattle hasn’t played — Real Salt Lake and Colorado — were paired in the championship game. … Sounders sporting director Chris Henderson, assistant coach Ante Razov and former goalkeeper and Lacey native Kasey Keller are among 31 nominees on the ballot for the National Soccer Hall of Fame.