Technical Director

Marc Nicholls

The two-time U.S. Academy coach of the year (2010 and 2012) joined the Seattle Sounders staff after three years (2011-13) as the Head Coach of the Carolina Dynamo of the USL PDL, where he led the team to the division title in all three seasons, including a PDL National Final appearance in 2012 and U.S. Soccer National Championship in 2013.

He also served as Technical Director for NC Fusion, leading the club to three appearances in U.S. Academy Nationals, including a third-place finish for the U-18 squad in 2012. Before arriving in Seattle, he also combined his PDL coaching position with a scouting role for Montreal Impact.

Nicholls holds his USSF National “A” License, the FIFA Futuro III program, as well as the prestigious French Formation License. He is currently a national staff member for U.S. Soccer.

Nationality: United States / England | Been with the Sounders since: 2013

Director of Coaching, U-17 Coach

Chris Little

Chris Little comes to the Sounders with a diverse coaching experience and a history of success. He has over 12 years collegiate coaching experience; and 7 year’s experience serving as State Director of Coaching & Academy Technical Director of Coaching.

Little's academy experience extends past his Elon days, when he was the Director of Coaching and Player Development for 5 years with the North Carolina Youth Soccer Association. He also has experience as the Technical Director for the NC Fusion for and head coach for the Carolina Dynamo team that competes in the Professional Development League.

As the North Carolina State Director of Coaching, Little led the State to its first two ODP National Championships with the 1988, and 1989 age groups. Little then led the NC Fusion to its first two US Development Academy National Finals in 2009 and 2011. Little then joined Elon University where he helped guide the program to its 1st NCAA D1 National Tournament appearance. Upon leaving Elon to join the Sounders in 2017, Elon had won 4 Conference Championships and made 5 NCAA D1 Tournament appearances with Little earning Midwest Coach of the Year in 2015 and Assistant Coach of the Year for the South Region in 2012.

Little played for the Academy at AFC Bournemouth then played collegiately at UNC Pembroke then in the USL for the Wilmington Hammerheads. Little holds his USSF National “A” License and is completing the prestigious French Formation License.

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

U-19 Coach

Michael Morris

Michael Morris joined Sounders FC in 2009 after playing with the team in the USL First Division from 2007-2008 and for Seattle Pacific University from 2003-2006. Morris served as a head coach at Pacific Northwest Soccer Club before assuming a role in the Sounders FC Academy in 2014. 

Michael Morris also assists with the Sounders Discovery Program, is a player scout, and serves as a head coach for Washington State EPD.

Nationality: United States | Been with the Sounders since: 2009

Head of Affiliations and Club Partnership Development, U-15 Coach

Daniel Lock

Dan Lock joined Sounders Academy in 2016 as Director of the Junior Sounders Program at partner club Seattle United via the clubs unique partnership with the Academy. The role at Seattle United consisted of overseeing the U8-U12 programing, including player, coach and curriculum development. Accompanying this role, Lock has also been Head of Affiliations and Club Partnership Development for the Sounders.

Since 2016, Lock has coached as part of the Sounders Discovery Program and been Assistant Coach to the U16-U17 Academy team. Highlights have included guiding the SDP 2004’s to a 3rd place finish in the 2017 Youdan Trophy, being part of the coaching staff as the SDP 2005’s won the 2018 Youdan Trophy and winning the USSDA National Championship with the U16-U17’s this year.

Prior to joining the Sounders Academy in 2016, Lock enjoyed success locally at Bellevue Community College, leading the Women’s program to a NWAC West Divisional Championship in 2015. He also has 10 years extensive experience in the youth game working more recently as DOC for WA based club Cascade FC (SnVYSA) from 2012-2016 and Regional Director for UK Elite Soccer from 2012-2016. Additionally he coached on the WYSA EPD Staff from 2016-2018.

Originally from England, U.K. Lock played in the Development Academy Program at Sheffield Wednesday FC, and Sheffield FC U19’s before heading to Liverpool John Moores University to earn a BSc Degree in Sports Science and Sport Development.

Lock holds a USSF A-Youth License, and was one of the first 50 candidates to attain the newly launched License in 2017.

Nationality: England | Been with the Sounders since: 2016

Sounders Discovery Program Manager and U-12 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.

Knapp now serves as the Sounders FC U-13/14 Assistant Coach, Sounders Discovery Program Head Coach, Scout and Manager of Soccer Programs.

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

S2/Academy Goalkeeper Coach

Josh Ford

Josh began his career playing for the Rhode Island Stingrays after spending four years at the University of Connecticut where he was named the 2010 Big East Goalkeeper of the Year. He set career records at UConn in shutouts (50), consecutive starts (85) and wins (54).

Josh spent four seasons with Seattle Sounders FC, 2011-2014, before being selected by Orlando City SC in the 2014 MLS Re-Entry Draft. In 2015, he spent time on loan to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers where he made 16 starts. At the start of 2016, Josh signed with San Antonio FC for their 2016 debut USL season, before joining Sounders FC Academy staff.

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

Assistant Coach

David Estrada

Developmental Performance Analyst

Ryan Faithfull

Head Athletic Trainer

Sheila Tatsunami

Sports Performance Coach

Mathieu Castello

Academy Administrator

Lauren Babcock

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.