Troy Perkins has joined the Sounders FC Academy coaching staff, the first step into a coaching career following a celebrated 12-year career as a goalkeeping stalwart in Major League Soccer and Europe.
The Sounders announced Monday that Perkins, 34, will become the goalkeeping coach for the Academy. Perkins joined the Sounders in 2015 as a backup to Stefan Frei and appeared in four MLS regular season games during his only season with the team.
“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,” said Perkins. "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."
A native of Springfield, Ohio, Perkins began his MLS career as an undrafted backup with D.C. United in 2004. He ultimately developed into one of the steadiest goalkeepers in MLS and spent four seasons in the nation’s capital, winning the 2006 Goalkeeper of the Year award and the 2007 Supporters’ Shield with D.C.
In 2008 Perkins signed a five-year deal with Norwegian club Vålerenga, where he made 53 appearances in the Tippeligaen from 2008-10. 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 goalkeeper returned to MLS in 2010 and suited up for D.C. United, the Portland Timbers and Montreal Impact before he joined the Sounders last January.
"If you look back, the state of Washington and the Seattle area has produced impressive goalkeepers in the last 25 years,” said Perkins. "There’s a huge gap now that you can see with the retirements of players like Kasey Keller, Marcus Hanhemann and Tally Hall. After that, you don’t really see anyone coming up and I think a lot of it is because of the gap in coaching. I want to now continue that legacy."