Relationship to broaden youth develop pyramid
TUKWILA, Wash. (Dec. 4, 2014) - Sounders U23 and Sounders Women will be powered by Washington Youth Soccer this spring and summer. In a relationship that will further the development pyramid, these two intermediate develop programs will work more closely with Washington Youth Soccer on many levels from promoting and training the state's Elite Player Development (EPD) players on the male and female teams to promoting the top amateur players throughout the state. The partnership will help identify and foster the growth of players as the EPD program has done for many years and use the Sounders U23 and Sounders Women teams as another great avenue for Washington Youth Soccer youth players to chase the dream of high level soccer as they play youth, college, and pre-professional soccer.
For the past three seasons, the Sounders U23 team has served as the developmental home for graduated RCL club and Sounders Academy players that are attending playing collegiate soccer.
"We are excited to continue the transition from club and Academy soccer to college soccer programs under the Sounders banner. There are great players playing in college that need games from May through August each Spring and Summer. We have a great relationship with the Sounders first team staff so players may train up as needed based on what the technical staff needs each week," stated Lane Smith, Sounders U23/Sounders Women co-owner.
The Sounders U23 and Sounders Women teams have serviced the college soccer player as well as local players in these younger age groups needing an opportunity to further their development as they strive to make the professional ranks.
"With both the Sounders U23 team and the Sounders Women team, we view this opportunity as very important because the college players need games to develop and we offer a great training environment and high quality games while preparing the players for their jump to Sounders FC or the Seattle Reign" included Cliff McElroy, co-owner Sounders U23/Sounders Women.
No doubt, these are exciting times in the growth of soccer in the United States. The Sounders U23 and Sounders Women continue their important piece in this pyramid fielding teams in the Premier Development League (PDL) and the W-League for the upcoming 2015 seasons, powered by the youth player development structure at Washington Youth Soccer.