SEATTLE, WA –– (clubs release) Seattle Sounders FC today announced an affiliation with the club’s third official youth partner, Spokane Soccer Club Shadow. The largest youth soccer organization in Eastern Washington, Spokane Soccer Club Shadow joins Seattle United and North Carolina’s Twin City Youth Soccer Association as youth partners of the Sounders FC Academy in an organizational effort to expand and improve its youth development infrastructure through strategic partnerships with youth soccer organizations.
“In our effort to develop the Sounders FC Academy into one of the preeminent youth development systems in the country, it’s essential that we’re able to recruit the best players in our own region,” said Sounders FC General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey. “The partnership with Spokane Soccer Club Shadow only strengthens the club’s presence in Washington and expands our reach to the eastern part of the state.”
With the partnership, Sounders FC will provide new programming, coaching education and unique interactions for SSC Shadow as an integral facet of the organization’s youth structure. SSC Shadow has grown continually and now includes approximately 1,000 competitive participants and an additional 3,000 recreational participants in conjunction with the Spokane Youth Sports Association. The new collaboration between the clubs allows for SSC Shadow players to be placed on Sounders FC Academy teams. The premier squads for ages 11 and up, now named the Spokane Sounders, will also feature distinct Sounders FC-related kits.
“SSC Shadow is pleased to have partnered with the Seattle Sounders,” said SSC Shadow Technical Director Abbas Faridnia. “The development of soccer in Spokane and the surrounding areas takes another monumental and much needed step forward for the youth soccer player. The players of Spokane now have a direct link to the Sounders.”
Sounders FC and SSC Shadow agreed to an initial partnership in May, which enabled the club to extend its youth developmental infrastructure into a strategic pipeline. Now as an official youth partner, the ties are being strengthened between the greater Spokane area and the state’s lone MLS club. The partnership will include both Spokane-based and Seattle-based events such as coaching education workshops, while also providing camps to give participants an opportunity to experience unique access with Sounders FC.
“Reaching out to new clubs and bringing more communities into the fold allows our Academy system to cast the widest net possible in recruiting new talent,” said Sounders FC Academy Technical Director Marc Nicholls. “By placing them all under the unifying influence of Sounders FC, we are able to develop these players in the best possible way to make a future impact with our club.”
In addition to the partnership with Sounders FC, SSC Shadow announced a program of cooperation with FC Spokane. The clubs are set to remain separate entities, but the premier-level programs are combining player pools and coaching resources to offer the best environment for player development beginning in the 2016-2017 season.
News and information about the Sounders FC Academy, Spokane Soccer Club Shadow and other partners, as well as Academy schedules, rosters and staff,www.SoundersFC.com/Academy.