Sounders FC 2 signs seven ahead of March 26 USL opener

700px-seattle_sounders_fc_2-svgSEATTLE, WA–– (club release) Seattle Sounders FC 2 today announced that it is has bolstered its roster with the signing of seven players to USL contracts. These players include defenders Brian Nana-Sinkam, Denso Ulysse, Riley Grant and Rodrigue Ele, midfielder Ray Saari and forwards Felix Chenkam and Shandon Hopeau. These signings put S2’s USL roster at 10 players, with Sounders FC Academy prospects and First Team players expected to see a number of minutes in the club’s third USL campaign, as well.
“We are very excited to bring these players into our organization,” Sounders FC Director of Player Personnel Kurt Schmid said. “These signings include young internationals and college standouts, plus an exciting player from our academy. After signing three S2 players to the First Team this offseason, we hope these players can develop on a similar path.”
“In our quest to develop players for sustained success of the First Team, we’ve made a conscious effort to get younger,” Head Coach Ezra Hendrickson said. “We are happy that three players from last year’s team have signed First Team contracts, and we made the necessary adjustments in the offseason to continue to develop our young players.”
Nana-Sinkam, 22, officially joins Seattle after being selected with the 22nd overall pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft. A four-year standout at Stanford, Nana-Sinkam won two NCAA titles with the Cardinal and was named to the 2016 All-Pac-12 First Team. The defender was also named to the 2016 NSCAA All-Far West Region Second Team.
Hopeau, 19, inks a contract with S2 after joining Sounders FC Academy in 2016. The crafty winger is originally from Hawaii, which is a Homegrown territory for the Rave Green, and previously played for Hawaii Rush. Hopeau shined for the Academy’s U-18s in 2016 and appeared in two S2 matches last fall, then trained with the First Team during preseason. Hopeau joins midfielder Lorenzo Ramos as two Academy products who have earned S2 contracts in 2017.
Ulysse is an 18-year-old defender from Haiti, where he has starred for the U-20 Haiti squad. In October of 2016, Ulysse was named to the Caribbean U-20 Best XI following Haiti’s championship win in the qualifying tournament for the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. Before signing with S2, Ulysse played for Real Hope in Haiti.
Ele, 19, comes to Seattle via Cameroon’s Rainbow FC Bamenda. Chenkam, 18, also joins S2 after playing for Rainbow FC Bamenda last season. They are both members of Cameroon’s U-20 team.
After an impressive collegiate career at the University of Tulsa, Saari, 22, joins the Rave Green. As a sophomore in 2014, Saari scored a team-high six goals and was named to The American All-Conference Second Team. As a senior, Saari converted the winning attempt in a penalty-kick shootout to give Tulsa its third consecutive conference title.
S2 also brings in Grant, a 22-year-old defender from Penn State. The left-footed center back played for the Nittany Lions for three seasons after transferring from Akron following his freshman year. He made over 50 appearances for Penn State, including 34 starts, and recorded two goals and six assists.
S2 begins its third USL season with a contest against Sacramento Republic FC on Sunday, March 26 at Starfire Stadium at 2:00 p.m. PT. Tickets are available via SoundersFC.com/s2/tickets.

Name: Brian Nana-Sinkam

Position: Defender
Height: 6-0
Weight: 180
Born: January 1, 1995 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Hometown: Lititz, Pennsylvania
Citizenship: United States
College: Stanford
Acquired: Selected with the 22nd pick of the First Round in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft, signed to S2’s roster on March 22, 2017

Name: Shandon Hopeau

Position: Forward
Born: December 1, 1998
Citizenship: United States
Acquired: Signed to S2’s roster on March 22, 2017

Name: Denso Ulysse

Position: Defender

Citizenship: Haiti

Acquired: Signed to S2’s roster on March 22, 2017
Previous Experience: Real Hope (Haiti)

Name: Rodrigue Ele

Position: Defender
Height: 6-0
Weight: 160
Born: March 2, 1998 in Yaounde, Cameroon
Citizenship: Cameroon
Acquired: Signed to S2’s roster March 22, 2017
Previous Experience: Rainbow FC Bamenda (Cameroon)

Name: Ray Saari

Position: Midfielder
Height: 5-6
Weight: 148
Born: April 18, 1995
Citizenship: United States
College: Tulsa
Acquired: Signed to S2’s roster on March 22, 2017

Name: Felix Chenkam

Position: Forward
Height: 5-6
Weight: 165
Born: December 28, 1998 in Douala, Cameroon
Citizenship: Cameroon
Acquired: Signed to S2’s roster on March 22, 2017
Previous Experience: Rainbow FC Bamenda (Cameroon)

Name: Riley Grant

Position: Defender
Height: 6-1
Weight: 172
Born: January 27, 1995
Citizenship: United States
College: Penn State
Acquired: Signed to S2’s roster on March 22, 2017
S2’s current roster is listed below by positional breakdown.

CURRENT SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC 2 ROSTER

Defenders (4): Rodrigue Ele, Riley Grant, Brian Nana-Sinkam, Denso Ulysse
Midfielders (3): Irvin Parra, Lorenzo Ramos, Ray Saari
Forwards (3): Felix Chenkam, Shandon Hopeau, Javorn Stevens
– S2 – 
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