UPDATE: Sounders Academy player Troy Peterson has committed to the College of Charleston, which lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to eventual finalist Louisville.
UPDATE 2: Sounders FC confirms 10 academy players have committed to play college soccer.
At some point today, we'll have a complete list of Seattle Sounders Academy players who signed National Letters of Intent, but we can confirm at least three players who did, as well as one who has not yet signed. Defender DeAndre Yedlin has officially committed to the University of Akron; defender Nick Palodichuk has already enrolled at Duke University; and goalkeeper Ryan Herman has committed to Santa Clara University.
All three players have been identified as having the talent to eventually play professionally.
"A lot of what (Herman's) potential is to be able to go on in the game," Santa Clara coach Cameron Rast said. "He has all the natural abilities that he needs. But that’s only part of the formula at being a player at the highest level of the game."
Potentially notable is the fact that Wake Forest has yet to receive Sean Okoli's Letter of Intent (and, yes, this has been confirmed with Wake Forest even after the Sounders issued their release). Okoli has been rumored to be discussing a Homegrown Player contract with the Seattle Sounders. Okoli has already verbally committed to Wake Forest and signing a Letter of Intent would not preclude him from later signing with the Sounders. This could very well be a paperwork issue, but it is the facts nonetheless.
In sending players to Akron, Duke, Santa Clara and, potentially, Wake Forest the Sounders Academy is proving to be a pipeline for some of the most successful men's soccer programs in the nation. Akron is the defending national champion and has sent 11 players to MLS in the past three seasons. Duke has had 19 players picked in the history of the MLS draft, more than all but 11 schools. Since 2006, 11 Santa Clara players have made at least one appearance in MLS, more than all but eight schools. Wake Forest won the national championship in 2007 and only two schools have had more of their players make a MLS appearance since 2006.