Pull on your Rave Green gear, and head out to Starfire this evening to support the Sounders Women as they take on the Seattle Pacific University team in preseason action at 7:30 PM. It should be a nice but chilly evening, with an almost sold out crowd. The SPU team has several returning players that should make them competitive against the Sounders. Two All-American players to watch are defender Taylor Sawyer and forward Megan Lindsay. The defensive line is anchored by Josie Graybeal and Sawyer. They had eleven shutouts last year, and allowed only 13 goals all season. Coach Chuck Sekyra said in a recent interview that this game against the Sounders Women should be "a challenge, but fun." He also said that his team is up for the challenge, and are looking forward to the game.
Two of their forwards are coming back from injury, but will undoubtedly suit up against our Sounders. Ali Martin is further along in her recovery and is almost 100%. Heather Young is right behind her in recovery, and will be at full strength once their regular season starts. After Senior Kelsey Jenkins completed her time with SPU, Kellie Zakrzewski became the team’s leading scorer with 10 goals and four assists.
Now that you know who to watch on their team, let’s look at our Sounders Women.
The official roster is not yet been released . There are still a couple of players coming in from college that may shift others off the team. So some of the players that you watch in the game may be trialists, or girls that are filling spots until the other members can come in with the team. We do know of 12 members of the Sounders Women that have been formally signed. Let’s meet them, shall we?
The first player that you really need to get to know is a Husky by the name of Kate (@katedeines2) Deines (pronounced DINE-us). She is a midfielder that loves to score. She has played with the USA U-23 team, and is a four time All Pac-10/12 player. Look for her to link up with fellow Husky Alum Veronica Perez. She was drafted by the WPS Atlanta Beat this past January along with Leroux. Their loss is definitely our gain. She is a natural leader, and will be one to watch when the National Team players are not available.
Next up is Veronica (@VeronicaPerez17) Perez, a 5’2" firecracker that plays with speed and heart. Before she joined the Mexican National team, she played for the Saint Louis Athletica. She’s a forward that adapts well, and can score. As a Husky she had 83 appearances, 70 starts, 21 goals and 11 assists. She scored the winning goal for the Mexican National team in their upset of the USA in the 2010 World Cup Qualifier. Since Canada knocked Mexico out of the Olympic qualifier this winter, Veronica was free to play back here with the Sounders, and will continue to hone her skills.
Another midfielder to watch is Keelin Winters. Keelin (pronounced KEE-lin), was talked into playing for the Sounders Women by none other than Alex (@alexmorgan13) Morgan. They were teammates on the USA U-23 team. The 5’9" Winters graduated from the University of Portland, and went on the play for the WPS Boston Breakers. She is a defensive midfielder, but she also knows how to score. She was nominated as the 2011 WPS rookie of the year.
A versatile forward/midfielder to get to know is a Ferndale, WA product by the name of Megan Manthey. When the National Team members are out, she’ll be one to watch as well. She’s been in Denmark for the past seven years, and that experience will bring fast paced one touch passing through the midfield.
Lindsay Elston was a Husky teammate of Kate Deines, and that bodes well for our midfield play when the National Team members are unable to play. I keep pointing that out, because although they will be available for most of the home games, they are restricted from travel. The only game that the National Team members may make is the Victoria, Canada game. So this team will show its depth during the late season games and all of the road games. Sure, we can win at home with this loaded team, but to win the championship and reach the future with this team, we have to win on the road. Coach Michelle French and GM Amy Carnell are putting together a well rounded, solid team that should be able to do just that. The 5’8" Elston also played for the USA U-20 team.
Julia Roberts, no, not that one… is out of the University of Virginia. She’s new to the area, so let’s give her that big old Sounder welcome tonight. She is a 5’9" midfielder that is looking to improve her game by playing in a competitive league.
Lindsey Patterson is a returning Sounder player. This 5’2" Puyallup native has also spent time with the WPS Atlanta Beat. She brings great experience and a solid skill set to the forward/midfield positions. She joined the Sounders Women mid-way through the season last year and scored one goal and added three assists.
Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, Sydney (@sydneyleroux) Leroux, Stephanie Cox and Megan (@mPinoe) Rapinoe round out the contracted players so far. Everyone except Rapinoe should be at the game tonight. Now that you know who is officially signed to the Sounders Women, you will be ready to cheer for your favorites. The mock jerseys won’t be available in the pro shop yet, but they are coming. You should be able to purchase a scarf though. Until then, wear your Sounders FC gear. The women will be sporting the Rave Green this season.
Look to the Ladies’ Auxilary from the ECS to lead the chants from their designated section of the stands. If you want to become a Ladies’ Aux member click here. It’s free this year, and membership gets you discounted single game tickets and travel package deals as well. You can purchase tickets to the games here. This isn't just a national team - this is Seattle's Women's Team. See you at the game!