Seattle Sounders FC staff welcomed the incoming U-15 team with a special event at Lumen Field, including guest speakers and an appearance from the 2019 MLS Cup. This event is the first of its kind for the Academy, but their objectives remain the same.
“The goal for the beginning of the season is to help educate the players on what it means to be a Sounder.” Academy Director Gary Lewis said. “To develop the proper training habits, introduce our game model and style of play and to create a competitive training environment that pushes each individual daily. We want to push the players out of their comfort zone and continually challenge them to develop a winning mentality and habits.”
Some Sounders front office staff, including President of Business Operations Peter Tomozawa and Senior Vice President of Business Operations & Marketing Taylor Graham, were there to show their support of this group.
As Graham shared his journey within the organization, his offered a bit of advice.
“If you do the simple things right,” he said, “there will be opportunities that you never knew existed in the first place.”
The Academy gauges their success model on the Professional Pathway, which wouldn’t be possible without the support of their Affiliate Clubs.
Lewis added: “We appreciate the work from the local clubs that have developed the boys and understand that for us to continue to produce players into our [pro] pathway we would not be successful without the hard work and endeavor from the coaches and support staff within our soccer community. Special praise and congratulations go to the following affiliates and clubs: PAC NW, Eastside FC, Seattle United, Washington Premier FC and Crossfire Premier.”