ranks Seattle Sounders FC 2 as second-best player development team in USL

With Seattle Sounders FC 2’s 2017 campaign underway, (TDS) has ranked the Rave Green the second-best USL team to watch when it comes to player development.

TDS praises the organization’s willingness to give professional minutes to some of the brightest young talents in the Academy. In particular, TDS highlights the signing of former Sounders Academy U-18 standout Shandon Hopeau as a success for the club’s player development pipeline.

“Focusing more on our Academy, and developing our pathway into the first team from the younger ages, is something we’re trying to do,” said Seattle Sounders Director of Player Personnel Kurt Schmid. “We had seven guys with ties to our Academy in our last game, so it’s good we’re getting more guys from that source.”

In addition to Hopeau, TDS mentions the regular involvement of Sounders Academy standouts — particularly left back Jake Morris, midfielder Sam Rogers, goalkeeper Trey Muse and U-16 striker Azriel Gonzalez — in both training sessions and matches with S2.

“The opportunity [to play professional matches] is the most important thing for any young player,” said Academy Technical Director Marc Nicholls. “To be exposed to that level of opponent, and that environment, is only going going to accelerate the development of these young players.”

S2 will face Cascadia rivals Portland Timbers 2 at Starfire Sports on Sunday (2 p.m. PT | TICKETS) in their second match of the 2017 USL campaign.