Sounders FC prides itself on keeping a high standard on and off the field, in the locker room and the front office. That standard was recognized on Thursday at the Major League Soccer Club and Executive Awards, where Seattle took home four awards and had several others recognized for their ticket sales productivity.
Seattle has maintained a top-level broadcast throughout the club’s short history and was recognized for those efforts as the Broadcast Staff of the Year. Seattle was also recognized as Match Presentation Staff of the Year, led by Shellie Roberts.
After surpassing the MLS attendance record for a fifth consecutive season, Director of Ticket Operations Chris Lawrence was named Ticket Sales Executive of the Year, while members of his staff were recognized in both season tickets, season ticket renewal rates and group ticket sales, with Chris Baretta, Chris Carra, Gary Boyle and Patrick Rooney collecting trophies.
Nolan Myer also went home with the Equipment Manager of the Year honors.
YEDLIN’S STAR RISING
DeAndre Yedlin is one of six finalists selected by the Seattle Sports Commission for Male Sports Star of the Year. Yedlin is nominated along with University of Washington running back Bishop Sankey, Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma, Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and the UW Men's Soccer team. Fans can vote for their favorite nominee by visiting SeattleSports.org. Winners will be announced during the show on January 22 at Benaroya Hall.
With five trades involving the first 11 picks of the SuperDraft, it was a busy day for technical staffs around the league on Thursday, but once everything was shaken out, there were few major surprises.
Andre Blake became the first goalkeeper to be selected with the first overall pick after the Philadelphia Union traded allocation money along with the No. 2 overall pick to D.C. United to land the Jamaican standout.
D.C. then selected California center back Steven Birnbaum and his Golden Bear partner Christian Dean was next off the board to Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
One surprise of the day was how far two-time Hermann Trophy winner Patrick Mullins fell down the board. Once believed to be a prime target for D.C. United with the first overall pick, the Maryland product fell all the way to No. 11, where the New England Revolution used their second pick in the first round on Mullins.
New England wasn’t the only team with multiple picks in the first round, though. Philadelphia nabbed Blake and Coastal Carolina midfielder Pedro Riberio (No. 15); Vancouver picked Dean and Jamaican midfielder Andre Lewis (No. 7); the Revs picked Georgetown forward Steve Neumann (No. 4) along with Mullins; and the Colorado Rapids picked Louisville midfielder Marlon Hairston (No. 12) and Notre Dame defender Grant van de Casteele (No. 19).
LOCAL DRAFT CONNECTIONS
Two players from the Sounders FC U-23 team were taken in the second round of Thursday’s SuperDraft, with University of Washington defender Taylor Peay heading to the Portland Timbers with the 26th overall pick and Akron midfielder Eric Stevenson going to the New York Red Bulls at No. 34.
It is the second straight year that Portland has selected a UW center back in the second round after Dylan Tucker-Gangnes was selected with the 34th overall pick in 2013.