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2014 - Young Player of the Year

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This may not even need to be a vote. The first of the 2014 Sounder at Heart community awards.

Mike Russell

That intro is the same as the 2013 intro, and yet it could be true. The Sounders have been truly blessed with some U23 talent. Three past winners were clear difference makers Yedlin, Zakuani and Montero all claimed Sounder at Heart recognition as the best U23 player in the Seattle Sounders' system. Rose and Carrasco also claimed this virtual award.

Upcoming will be community votes on the Defensive Player, Offensive Player, Reign Player and Moment of the Year. But this Young Player award offers a unique view into the Sounders. Any player in the Academy, formerly in the Academy, with Sounders 2 or with the 1st Team and also U23 for FIFA/Olympics tourney purposes is eligible. Two of the players up for the 2014 award were listed in 2013. With such a vibrant Academy and the announcement of Sounders 2 this award will only continue to gain prominence over the years.

Your 2014 nominees.

Darwin Jones - The UW forward dominated the Pac12 when he played. His star is one of the brightest. Jones regularly trains with the 1st Team, and turned down an offer to be an HGP last Winter. He will almost certainly turn pro in 2015.

Victor Mansaray - Seattle's youngest HGP will be an active member of the roster in 2015. The youngster is getting United States U18 calls, dominated the USSDA U16s in the 2013-14 season and trains more with the 1st team than he does the Academy.

Jordan Morris - This is his second year being nominated for the award. Morris is the first college player since 1995 to play for the United States Men's National Team. Jordan is also up for the Herman Award. There may be no American at his age with a brighter future.

DeAndre Yedlin - The right back is likely leaving Seattle this offseason. He will be joining Tottenham Hotspur at some point in 2015. His 2014 merely includes a trip to the World Cup and a double in Major League Soccer. He is the only defender on this list. Every other player is a forward.