Seattle Sounders FC today announced two new additions to its Academy technical staff, adding 10-year MLS veteran Troy Perkins as Goalkeeper Coach and Wade Webber U-15 Head Coach. Perkins, the 2006 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, played his final professional season in 2015 with Sounders FC, while Webber brings over two decades of playing and youth coaching experience to the Sounders FC Academy.
“Finding the right people to develop our Academy players is important to the long-term success the club,” said Sounders FC General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey. “Troy brings a wealth of domestic and international playing experience and can pass on what it means to be a professional, while Wade’s career as a player, coach and teacher in the Seattle area makes him a great choice to lead our U-15 squad. It’s always exciting to add a couple of ex-Sounders and we look forward to seeing what they bring to our Academy.”
Perkins, 33, is 10th all-time in MLS history with 217 career appearances. He ranks 10th all-time with 75 wins, ninth with 724 saves and 10th with 53 shutouts. The Ohio native earned MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, MLS All-Star and Best XI honors in 2006 with D.C. United after recording a 15-6-9 record with eight clean-sheets and a 1.13 goals against average. The University of South Florida product began his career in 2004 with D.C. as an undrafted rookie and played his final season in 2015 with Sounders FC, making seven appearances across all competitions. He also spent two seasons with Norwegian First Division side Vålerenga IF, where he made 53 appearances in the Tippeligaen from 2008-2009.
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“It’s a tough decision to make when in your heart you want to compete. You see the field and that’s what you want to do,” Perkins said of retiring. “An opportunity presented itself that provides stability and Seattle’s a great place for my family. We wanted to stay here. An opportunity with the club came up that I couldn’t pass up.”
Perkins has been capped seven times for the U.S. Men’s National Team, accumulating a 5-2-0 record in 2009 and 2010. He made five appearances in the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup, leading the Stars and Stripes to a second place finish.
“The club itself is highly regarded in the United States and is now getting international recognition,” Perkins added. “The Academy set-up and the coaching staff that I’ll be a part of was a huge reason why I made this decision. I’m not just jumping in to a new program; it’s well established. They’ve given me a lot of responsibility to develop goalkeepers.”
Webber, 48, brings a decade of professional playing experience from 1986-1999 to the Academy staff, playing for both Seattle and Portland throughout his career. He also made 53 MLS appearances from 1997-1999 for the Dallas Burn and Miami Fusion, including a career-high 28 games played for Miami in 1998. The six-foot-three defender attended the University of Portland from 1985-1988, leading the Pilots to the NCAA Final Four as a senior. A Federal Way native, Webber won three consecutive state championships at Thomas Jefferson High School of Federal Way, as well as Washington’s first national club championship with Goalpost SC U-16 in 1983.
"I am excited to be joining the Sounders FC Academy staff,” said Webber. “My conversations with Marc Nicholls and Garth Lagerwey have convinced me that the club has not only the ambition to create the best youth development system in North America, but with the support of ownership, there is also a long-term vision and plan for making that happen. I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to join the staff working to make that vision a reality."
Since retiring from playing in 1999, Webber has coached youth soccer extensively throughout Western Washington, including the last seven years as Director of Coaching for Washington Premier FC. In his time with Washington Premier FC, Webber has accumulated a record of 596-183-126 with four state championships and two regional titles. His prior coaching stops included Norpoint FC (1999-2003), Federal Way Reign (2003-2005) and FC Royals (2005-2006). He joined the Washington State EDP/ODP program this past year, where led the 2001 Boys (U-15) to the Region IV Championship. Webber has a USSF A License and Master’s in Teaching from Seattle University and has also served as a radio analyst for Sounders FC broadcasts since 2012.
“We’re very excited about the club’s commitment to player development and the continued progression of the Academy,” said Sounders FC Academy Technical Director Marc Nicholls. “Investing in quality coaching from top to bottom is vital to the success of our system, and adding both Troy and Wade provides further quality for our young players. They are a perfect fit for our current needs.”
Sounders FC begins its preseason preparation for the 2016 campaign this month before the club takes part in a series of Desert Friendlies in Tucson against Vancouver Whitecaps FC, the Portland Timbers and Mexican side Celaya FC in early February. Seattle's eighth season begins in late February with the 2015-2016 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal Round against Club America before the MLS season-opener on March 6. 2016 Sounders FC Season Ticket Packages, which include the first leg against Club America on February 23 at CenturyLink Field, are available now for as low as $24 per match online or by calling 1-877-MLS-GOAL.