Sounders U23s and Seattle Sounders Women to re-brand and partner with Sound Football Club.
Sounders U23 and Seattle Sounders Women are two top amateur soccer teams that have had a branding agreement from Seattle Sounders FC since 2012 to operate as development platforms for the highest-level amateur leagues nationally. Sounders U23s have competed in the USL League II and Sounders Women in both the USL W league and the WPSL where they won a national championship in 2018.
“Seattle Sounders FC front office came to us early in 2019 and indicated that the U23 College age player is no longer a focus for their develop path and initiated termination of the agreement.
The Sounders Women brand association value was also deemed unnecessary by Sounders FC and revoked as well. We asked and received an extension to play out the 2019 Season under the Sounders brand as many league and business related commitments had already been made” – Stated Lane Smith co-owner and CEO
Both clubs are independently owned, operated and financed by Lane Smith, Cliff McElroy and Mike Jennings. “Although our branding rights have been revoked, we still very much believe in the development opportunity for young men and women and the leagues they play in, we will continue to fund both Clubs. Sound Football club a premier youth soccer organization based in Woodinville has agreed to help operate both teams and add them as the pinnacle of their development platform “. – Stated Cliff McElroy co-owner.
A Sound FC partnership announcement will be made Tuesday January 14th starting at 1:00 PM at the Lynnwood convention center.
Sounders U23s has been a part of the professional soccer development of over 40 young men since 2012. Most notably Deandre Yedlin who played ever minute of every game in the 2012 season and fellow US National team player Jordan Morris. Yesterday former Sounders 23 Miguel Berry was picked 7th in the MLS SuperDraft. Other first round MLS drafted players include Santiago Pitino (3rd), Clemente Simonin ( 9th) and Jonathan Campbell (12th) . Additional Sounders call ups include Aaron Kovar, Sean Okoli & Darwin Jones. Sounders U23s have enjoyed success both on and off the field with wins in US open cup play, 3 seasons of playoff competition and organizational awards from the USL.
Seattle Sounders Women have been a top national women’s amateur team since 2001. In 2012 with the folding of the Women’s professional league found itself as host to women’s national team players Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe & Sydney Leroux while they kept their skills up before heading to the 2012 Olympics where they won gold medals. With the launch of the NWSL professional league Sounders Women continued its amateur development path playing in the USL W league until its demise in 2016.
The Seattle Sounders Women then joined the WPSL and continued its success culminating in a national championship in 2018. Notable recent players that have enjoyed the benefits on the Seattle Sounders women development platform include US national team player and world cup star Rose Lavelle, NWSL rookie of the year Bethany Balcer and recent US national team call up Morgan Weaver.
We have many great memories of the last 7 years representing the Sounders brand with professionalism at the amateur level. Ironically most fans assumed the clubs were owned and operated by Sounders FC which stands as a testament to how the clubs have been run.
We have So many to thank with unsurpassed dedication to our mission of developing young Women and Men both on and off the field. We will now continue the next chapter by supporting our teams and leagues through Sound FC and making continued investments as The Tacoma Stars will launch an NPSL outdoor development team in Tacoma. - In Joint statement by Lane and Cliff