Seattle United – Sounders Partnership

Seattle United – Sounders Partnership

Seattle United became the 1st official Sounders partner club in November 2015, now two and a half years into the partnership we take a look at how it has developed and how it continues to benefit the coaches and players of Seattle United.

As part of the partnership, Dan Lock – Junior Sounders Director – was hired to work within both organizations. This provided a clear link between both clubs, resulting in a relaunching of the U8-U9 programing at Seattle United in 2016, becoming the “U8-U9 Seattle United Junior Sounders Program”. The motivation behind this was to create a stronger technical and developmental foundation at the youngest ages of the club, through the use of Sounders Academy methodology, curriculum and best practices.

In addition to the focus at U8-U9, the partnership also provides Seattle United with a individualized club curriculum for U10-U12 players which utilizes Sounders Academy best practices, methodologies and developmental philosophy.

As well as servicing the development of the U8-U12 players, the partnership with the Sounders also provides a clear pathway for the elite level players aged U12-U18. Players can receive invitations to participate in the Sounders Discovery Program, opportunities to gain trials with Sounders Development Academy teams and also the pathway to join the Sounders Academy on a full time basis.

In the past two years there have been over 20 Seattle United players join the Sounders Academy full time, even culminating in Seattle United alum Handwalla Bwana signing for the Sounders 1st Team and making his MLS debut in March.

Former Seattle United 2001 and 2002 players: Christian Koontz, Leo Burney, Ethan Dobbelaere and Sota Kitahara recently starred in the Sounders U17 GA Cup Championship winning team.

As well full time opportunities within the Sounders Academy, there have been over 25 Seattle United players participate in the Sounders Discovery Program over the past year, and several players selected to represent the SDP U12 and U14 teams in tournaments in Europe, with the highlight being a 3rd place finish at the Youdan Trophy in England last August.

Not only does the partnership provide on field development for players, but also gives the coaches of the club the opportunity to develop through curricula, coaching resources, an open door access to the Sounders Academy practices and also access to the annual Sounders Academy coaching symposium.

Other initiatives such as the Sounders Humanitarian of the Year Award have enabled both clubs to promote common core values with their young players. Emily Piette of Seattle United received the Youth Partner award for 2017 for her charity work in Africa and Asia.

It has been an exciting two years for both Seattle United and the Sounders, and we look forward to continuing to build and develop the strong partnership for years to come.

Link to: Seattle United Junior Sounders Program