RENTON, WASH. - Fourteen members of the Seattle Sounders FC Academy Under-18 team have committed their futures to collegiate soccer programs. Along with developing talent for the Major League Soccer club's senior team, the Sounders FC Academy also strives to develop young men to maximize their educational options.
"We are very proud of the student athletes in the Sounders FC Academy program," said Darren Sawatzky, Director of Youth Development. "The Letter of Intent day is an exciting time for these boys considering the hard work and focus they have spent in the classroom and on the field. We wish all the players the very best and look forward to watching their progress."
The National Letter of Intent signing period began on February 1.
Among those that have signed an NLI, Aaron Kovar of Garfield High School will attend Stanford University. He was the 2011 Gatorade Washington State Player of the Year.
Six Sounders FC Academy players will remain in Seattle for college as three players committed to the University of Washington and three committed to Seattle University.
- Austin Curtis (Forward, Bonney Lake HS): Western Washington University
- Dominique Dismuke (Forward, Decatur HS): University of Washington
- Michael Gallagher (Defender, Eastlake HS): University of Washington
- Jesse Klug (Forward, Overlake College Prep): Bucknell University
- Aaron Kovar (Midfield, Garfield HS): Stanford University
- Ian Lange (Defender, Kennedy HS): University of Washington
- Joe Mancini (Midfielder, Eastside Catholic): Seattle University
- Curtis Pederson (Midfielder/Defender, Bellarmine Prep): Western Washington University
- Sawyer Preston (Defender, Eastlake HS): Western Washington University
- Nick Raskasky (Defender, Highline CC): University of West Virginia
- Jordan Schweitzer (Midfielder, Jackson HS): University of Denver
- Justin Solomon (Midfielder, Highline CC): Seattle University
- Austin Sweeney (Midfielder, Todd Beamer HS): Seattle University
- Keenan Townsend (Goalkeeper, Skyview HS): San Diego State
The Sounders FC Academy will host an Open House in July. It provides an opportunity to learn more about the Sounders FC Academy U15/16 and U17/18 teams as well as other programs offered to enhance the 2012-2013 Youth System for Sounders FC.