Seattle Sounders FC Academy

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Seattle Sounders FC Academy
The Seattle Sounders FC crest, with the team's name on a banner stretched across a green and blue shield with the shape of the Space Needle in the center.
Full name Seattle Sounders FC Academy
Nickname(s) The Sounders, Rave Green
Founded 2010
Ground Starfire Sports Complex
Ground Capacity 4,500
Director of Development Darren Sawatzky
Manager Dick McCormick

Seattle Sounders Football Academy is the academy team of the Seattle Sounders FC. The current Youth Academy team manager is Dick McCormick, who was appointed in 2010 after working with the Crossfire Premier Soccer Club in Redmond, Washington following his retirement from playing in 2004.[1] His assistants are Sean Henderson and Bill Crook, who are both former Seattle Sounders players.[2] The technical director is Darren Sawatzky, a former Colorado Rapids and Seattle Sounders.[3]


Beginning (2010-2012)[edit]

In October 2010, the Seattle Sounders FC Academy was founded. The 2010 U-17 Sounders were part of the SUM U-17 Cup, a tournament with all the sixteen reserve Major League Soccer teams. They were grouped with the reserve teams of FC Dallas, Columbus Crew, and Philadelphia Union. Following a successful first season, 10 players committed to play soccer in college.[4]

Home Grown Players (2013-present)[edit]

The Homegrown Player Rule (HGP) program allows MLS teams to sign local players from their own development academies directly to MLS first team rosters.[5]

At the start of the 2013 season, DeAndre Yedlin became the first Sounders Academy player to sign a HGP contract.[6] In his first professional season with Seattle, Yedlin was part of the United States squad for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup and the MLS squad for the 2013 MLS All-Star Game. Yedlin appeared in all three of the U-20's games and played 24 minutes against A.S. Roma in the All-Star Game.

In 2014, Aaron Kovar and Sean Okoli followed Yedlin in becoming the next Academy players to sign with the full team.[7] Yedlin was called up to the United States squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, making him the first HGP to have been called up to a World Cup roster. Yedlin was once again named to the MLS squad for the 2014 MLS All-Star Game.

Current Squad[edit]

U-18 Squad[edit]

The following players are eligible for the U18 Academy League in the current 2014 season. As of July 2014.[8]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 United States GK RJ Noll
12 United States MF Sean Bowman
20 United States MF Ryan DeGroot
21 United States DF MacArthur Clarke
24 United States DF Tosh Samkange
25 United States MF Lorenzo Ramos
26 United States MF Kasey French
27 United States MF Harrison Kurtz
29 United States FW Victor Mansaray
No. Position Player
31 United States GK Saif Kerawala
32 United States MF John Magnus
33 United States FW Ryan Schaefer
37 Honduras MF Samuel Gomez
38 United States FW Diego Silvas
39 United States FW Connor Noblat
40 Brazil FW Marcus Machado
48 United States DF Kees Westra

Board and Staff[edit]

Position Staff Nation
Technical Director Marc Nicholls England England
U-18 Head Coach Dick McCormick United States United States
Assistant Coach Sean Henderson United States United States
Head Coach, U16 & U14 Academy Teams Fawzi Belal Algeria Algeria
Goalkeepers Coach Ben Dragavon United States United States
Head Athletic Trainer Joe Montgomery United States United States

Source: Coaching staff

Notable alumni[edit]

The following list reflects players who have graduated from the Seattle Sounders FC Academy and subsequently signed a professional contract. Appearances and Goals are cumulative totals for first-team Sounders FC games in Major League Soccer, US Open Cup, CONCACAF Champions League, as well as playoff games.

As of December 6, 2014

Name Years at
Appearances Goals First Professional Club Current Club International
Sweden Gustav Brandt 2012–2013 0 0 Sweden IF Limhamn Bunkeflo Sweden IF Limhamn Bunkeflo
United States Jamael Cox 2010–2011 0 0 United States Tampa Bay Rowdies United States Seattle Sounders FC U-23
United States Aaron Kovar 2010–2012 4 0 United States Seattle Sounders FC United States Seattle Sounders FC United States United States U-23
United States Victor Mansaray 2012–2015 0 0 United States Seattle Sounders FC United States Seattle Sounders FC United States United States U-18
United States Duncan McCormick 2010–2014 0 0 United States Seattle Sounders FC 2 United States Seattle Sounders FC 2
United States Sean Okoli 2010–2011 4 1 United States Seattle Sounders FC United States New England Revolution United States United States U-23
Venezuela Victor Rojas 2012-2014 0 0 Mexico Coras de Tepic Mexico Coras de Tepic
Australia Justin Solomon 2010-2012 0 0 Australia Sunshine Coast F.C. Australia Sunshine Coast F.C.
United States DeAndre Yedlin 2010–2011 69 3 United States Seattle Sounders FC England Tottenham Hotspur United States United States