Throughout the past three years, Sounders Academy has earned a reputation domestically for producing top-class professional prospects. With plenty of success at international tournaments -- Sounders youth teams have won Youdan trophy twice, Generation adidas Cup and finished third at Manchester City Cup -- as well as a bevy of U.S. Youth National team call-ups across every age group, that reputation now extends beyond America’s borders.
The young Sounders’ standout performances for both club and country have drawn interest from abroad. In recent months, scouts representing clubs from the Bundesliga, Premier League and Liga MX have expressed interest in several players from the youth system, indicating the club’s growing global reputation for developing elite players.
“Our players have been fortunate enough to earn not only national, but international recognition due to their fine performances in tournaments and other events,” said Sounders FC Director of Player Development and Academy Director Marc Nicholls. “The national team call-ups have provided additional exposure.”
The club’s increased commitment to vertical integration of youth-team prospects into S2 has created another platform for the young Sounders to showcase their talent. In the past 18 months, six players from the youth system have signed directly with S2. Through just 12 matches this season, a total of nine current Sounders Academy players have combined for 1,857 minutes of USL action.
And with every USL match streamed online, clubs from the biggest leagues in the world can evaluate the young Sounders and monitor their progress.
“This increased exposure has spotlighted many of our young, talented players,” said Nicholls. “We are now aware of worldwide interest in their continued performances and future development.”
Ultimately, global soccer is a meritocracy. As these storied clubs express more and more interest in Sounders Academy and S2 players, the club’s reputation for developing elite players will continue to grow, both at home and abroad.