Seattle Sounders FC Academy Staff

VP of Player Development

Henry Brauner

Nationality: United States/Philippines | Been with the Sounders since: 2020

Academy Director

Steve Cooke

Nationality: England | Been with the Sounders since: 2021

Head of Academy Recruitment

David "Bingy" Lara

Born and raised in Las Cruces, NM; played youth for NM Striker FC.

Played for University of Kentucky men’s soccer while earning a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, then coached as a student and volunteer assistant for the program in ’09 and ‘10. Next moved east to learn as a graduate assistant and assistant coach at Morehead State University women’s soccer from 2010-2014, while receiving master’s degree in Counseling.

From there joined Real Salt Lake as first assistant coach for the Real Monarchs in the 2015 and 2016 USL Championship Seasons. Moved to Washington in 2017 and spent 5 years as Federal Way Football Club as Technical Director, then 1 year as Director of Talent Identification for Seattle United, working most specifically with the boys ECNL program. Served as the US Soccer Federation YNT Network ID scout in Washington from 2018-2021.

Wife is Anna; two sweets are named Caius and Mabel.

Nationality: USA | Been with Sounders since: 2022

U-17 Head Coach

Xavi Bravo

Nationality: Spain | Been with the Sounders since: 2022

U-15 Head Coach

Brayton Knapp

Brayton Knapp joined Sounders FC in 2013 after playing in the MASL from 2010-2013. A graduate of the University of Portland, where he played from 2005-2009, Knapp began his coaching career in 2009 as a U15/16 Development Academy Assistant Coach for FC Portland before joining Crossfire Premier Soccer Club as a Head Coach in 2011. Knapp has also coached at Mercer Island Futbol Club and for Eastside FC.

Nationality: United States | Been with the Sounders since: 2011

Goalkeeper Coach

Fred Bragaglia

After playing professionally in Brazil and Portugal, Fred began his coaching career as an Assistant and Goalkeeper Coach with América F.C. while obtaining his B.A in Sports Science. He then went abroad where he spent 4 years with the Cruzeiro Football Academy in Phuket, Thailand as the Goalkeeping Director and Assistant Coach. He has since spent time coaching in China and the Philippines before joining Sounders FC in 2022.

Nationality: Brazil | Been with the Sounders since: 2022

Performance Coach

Sadip Bagui

Been with the Sounders since: 2021

Assistant Development Athletic Trainer

Ryne Schrader

Nationality: USA | Been with the Sounders since: 2022

Head of Academy Operations

Lauren Babcock

Lauren moved to Seattle from Tampa, Florida and joined the Academy at the end of 2016 after working in the Sounders FC Pioneer Square Headquarters beginning in 2014. She was a key member in developing Sounders FC 2, now Tacoma Defiance, as the Gameday Operations Manager. In Tampa, Lauren worked in Game Presentation for the Tampa Bay Lightning in the NHL.

Nationality: United States | Been with the Sounders since: 2014

Head of Education

Diane Carney

Diane joined the Seattle Sounders Academy as the Head of Education and Welfare after serving as the Learning Services Director at the Annie Wright Upper School for Girls. She brings 20 years of experience with differentiated learning support, tutoring, standardized test preparation, and the college process. After earning a BS from Puget Sound and an MS from UW, Diane owned and operated University Tutoring Service in Seattle and Olympia for 13 years. When she’s not busy supporting the next generation of Sounders, Diane can be found behind a camera, on the slopes, or at her farm.

Nationality: United States | Been with the Sounders since: 2017

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