Louisville City’s latest signing is an intriguing one. 19-year-old Ray Serrano of the Tacoma Defiance, part of the Seattle Sounders system, will be joining Morados for the 2022 season. Despite previous reports, he is not a loan but rather a full signing (thankfully). In the summer of 2016, Serrano joined the Seattle Sounders FC Academy from the club’s Eastern Washington official partner, the Spokane Sounders. He initially signed with the U-15s, but after impressing with the U-17s at the Generation Adidas Cup in October 2016, he was moved up to the older squad. His accolades in the youth ranks are well documented (check out this). It wasn’t until 2019 did he see time with the Defiance in the USL Championship. His minutes increased in 2020, but it was last season where he broke out. In 29 matches (18 starts), he scored 4 goals (2nd on the team) and made 6 assists. He was also held their 2nd highest player rating, 2nd most key passes, and most big chances created. The Defiance describes Serrano as one who counts on technical dribbling to open up space and uses nimble footwork to open up space rather than pure speed.
“Ray is a bright young player that we have been tracking for the last year," said Coach Danny Cruz. "He is a dynamic player that brings us another piece of quality in the final third for 2022. You can tell from both film and our discussions that tell he is a hungry young player going to leave everything he has on the field. We feel that in this environment there is no doubt that he will be put in a position to continue his development and ultimately grow both as a player and person.”
“Having seen all the championships in Louisville and games they continue to win, it brought a lot of attention to me,” Serrano said. “I want to be around a winning environment and a competitive one as well. That’s how you develop as a player. The USL Championship has always been a strong league,” he said. “Staying in the USL with a big club like Louisville is the right option for me. In Seattle, I was around the first team a lot, so being here with experienced players won’t be a huge change. We always tried to compete like we were older, mature players.”
This is a welcomed addition to the roster. He is young (I get a bit into the importance of that in the Offseason Update) and fills a position of need. FotMob has him listed primarily as a right-winger and, based on his description, he would provide an interesting alternative if Brian Ownby were unavailable. It sounds like he can also play wingback which would only futher add value to this signing. Even if he doesn’t end up getting significant minutes this season, a full year of training with this team could make him especially valuable next season. It worked out well for Jonathan Gomez! A great get by Coach Cruz and one that we could potentially look back on as a steal. Excited to see how he fits into the 2022 plans!
Check out below for a few clips of him doing his thing.
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