SEATTLE, WA— (club release) Seattle Sounders FC today announced two relationships with local youth clubs, Eastside FC and Pacific Northwest Soccer Club (PacNW). Eastside FC, the premier soccer club of the Eastside Youth Soccer Association (EYSA) – the first association organized within the Washington State Youth Soccer Association (WSYSA) – joins an exclusive partnership with Sounders FC as an official youth partner. Also now affiliated with Sounders FC’s youth structure is PacNW, which provides opportunities for players in South King County to join the Rave Green.
“The partnerships with Eastside FC and PacNW fit into our strategic plan of strengthening the club’s presence throughout King County and the state of Washington,” said Sounders FC General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey. “By recruiting the elite players in our own region, it helps our effort to develop the Sounders FC Academy into one of the nation’s top youth systems.”
Eastside FC comprises of more than 70 teams competing at the highest level locally, regionally and nationally. The club has a history of players, coaches and directors connected to Sounders FC, including Homegrown Player Jordan Morris, who played with the ’94 squad from U-11 to U-17 and won six Washington State titles.
“Eastside FC has always enjoyed a strong and valued relationship with the Seattle Sounders highlighted by the success of Jordan Morris,” said Eastside FC President Tim Bauman. “This new club partnership takes Eastside FC to another level and will provide benefits for every member of our club. We are honored to be chosen and to be even more closely aligned with the Seattle Sounders.”
The partnership provides a clear pathway for players to compete at the next level, exclusive access with Sounders FC coaching education and curriculum and the addition of rave green into the new Eastside FC kit. Eastside FC looks to incorporate the ideas and practices of the Sounders FC Academy into its developmental model. The club attributes its long-running success to dedicated and professional coaches, a highly structured curriculum for player development and best-in-class facilities. Additionally, both current Director of Coaching Tom Bialek and current Executive Director Chance Fry are former Sounders players, with Fry also serving as a former coach and director for the former A-League and USL Sounders teams.
“Eastside FC has been an important partner of Sounders FC Academy since the beginning and we look forward to further strengthening that relationship with the entire club,” said Sounders FC Academy Director Marc Nicholls.
PacNW, the product of a 2012 merger between Dos FC and the Greater Renton Football Club, is now the preeminent premier soccer club for South King County and one of the fastest growing clubs in the state. PacNW features over 1,000 soccer players of all skill levels, while each of PacNW’s 65+ teams – ranging from the U-8/U-9 Junior Program to the U-19 boys and girls sides – train at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, the same training facility as Sounders FC.
“PacNW has a long history of working closely with the Sounders Academy, and we are very excited to formalize our relationship with the best club in MLS,” said PacNW President John Wilson. “This relationship with Sounders FC will elevate our established programs and help each of our players achieve their maximum potential, as well as raise our standards as an entire club organization both on and off the field.”
By developing a streamlined relationship with Sounders FC, PacNW players will have closer contact to Sounders Academy coaches, in addition to increased coaching education opportunities for PacNW’s technical staff. Sounders FC will also work with PacNW Directors to align its established and proven curriculum with the operations of the First Team.
“Our informal relationship with PacNW has been very strong,” said Sounders Academy Technical Director Marc Nicholls. “Elevating our relationship provides Sounders Academy an even better opportunity to support PacNW and its development of players.”
Currently, PacNW has nine players in the Sounders Academy, including three at the U-18 level, and two with each of the U-16, U-15 and U-14 sides. The club’s Technical Director is Leighton O’Brien, who played with the USL Seattle Sounders from 2001-2005 and 2006-2008, and was recently recognized as one of the best eleven players in the first 40 years of the history of USL.
News and information about the Sounders FC Academy, Eastside FC, PacNW and other partners, as well as Academy schedules, rosters and staff, can be found on the Sounders FC Academy website via the following link: http://www.SoundersFC.com/Academy.
ABOUT SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
Winner of the 2014 MLS Supporters’ Shield and four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup championships (2009, 2010, 2011, 2014), Sounders FC is Seattle’s Major League Soccer franchise. With an ownership group led by Majority Owner and Seattle-based entrepreneur Adrian Hanauer, Owner and Hollywood executive Joe Roth, Owner and Seattle Seahawks Chairman Paul G. Allen and fellow Owner and entertainer Drew Carey, the club received an MLS charter on November 13, 2007 and has reached the MLS Cup Playoffs in every year of its existence. Since the club’s debut MLS season in 2009, Sounders FC has set the standard for soccer support in North America, culminating in the top single-season attendance total in league history in 2015 and an active streak of 127 consecutive MLS sellouts. Prior to joining MLS, the Seattle Sounders organization has been a part of the greater Seattle community and U.S. Soccer professional scene since 1974.