SEATTLE, WASH. – Sounders FC today announced that longtime technical staff members Henry Brauner and Wade Webber are advancing to new positions within the club’s development system. Brauner steps into the role of Technical Director, while Webber becomes Director of Development. Both Brauner and Webber enter their new roles after spending extensive time within Sounders FC’s development system in various capacities.
“We are thrilled to offer these opportunities to both Henry and Wade,” said General Manager & Chief Soccer Officer Craig Waibel. “Both of them have been impacting our technical staff ecosystem for years, and the quality of their work has allowed us to thrive throughout the development ranks. Today’s announcement allows us to get the best out of two quality staff members, further aligning with our long-term development goals.”
Waibel continues, “On Henry specifically, this was the perfect time to present him this new challenge and to elevate his abilities. He’s going to be able to further impact the identification and growth of our players, from the very youngest to the those already within our system.”
Brauner joined the club as Sounders FC Academy’s Head of Recruitment in 2015, working in that role until 2018 following two years as a coach for Real Salt Lake’s Academy. He then left the organization from 2018-2020 to become a United States Youth National Team scout and coach, returning to Seattle in 2020 as Director of Player Development and First Team Development Coach. Brauner was then promoted to Vice President of Player Development in 2022, a role he served in until being appointed Technical Director.
As Technical Director, Brauner is overseeing the on-field technical and tactical execution across the organization, while continuing to expand his global network and understanding of players under the age of 23.
“As we continue to evolve as a club and move into a greater development structure from MLS NEXT Pro down through the Academy, it is essential to identify the correct person to oversee the growth of our staff and players,” Waibel continues. “Wade Webber has served in every part of the Defiance and Academy ladder, and this new role amplifies his abilities to impact growth across the entire development landscape.”
Webber most recently served as Head Coach of Tacoma Defiance, Sounders FC’s MLS NEXT Pro affiliate, from 2021-2023, being hired on February 26, 2021 following three years as an Assistant Coach. Webber, who received his USSF Pro coaching license while in charge of Defiance, amassed a 39-26-23 overall record as Head Coach during his tenure, playing in the USL Championship in 2021 before moving to MLS NEXT Pro in 2022 and 2023. Defiance advanced to the Western Conference Final in 2022 and the Western Conference Semifinals in 2023, winning Pacific Division titles in both campaigns. Prior to his time with Tacoma, Webber coached two seasons with the Sounders FC Academy (2016-2017). Before joining Seattle, he coached youth soccer extensively throughout Western Washington, including seven years as Director of Coaching for Washington Premier FC.
In his new role, Webber assumes all responsibilities of Academy lead, while also being responsible for the growth and further education of the Tacoma Defiance players and staff members.