UPDATE: Okoli has signed with New York City FC.
Sean Okoli is coming off by far his most productive professional season. The Federal Way product and Sounders Academy alum finally found regular playing time with FC Cincinnati and responded with a 16-goal campaign that earned him the USL MVP award.
But even at 23 years old, Okoli is also well aware that he’s got limited time to try to move up in the professional soccer world and that appears to be exactly what he plans to do after announcing his intentions to leave FC Cincinnati this offseason.
Man.. idk where to start. This last year with Cincinnati left me with nothing but good memories. It's a place i really got to grow as a player and person while meeting great people along the way. I always felt the support from the club, the city, and the fans so i want to say thank u. I had to make a tough decision of not coming back for the 2017 season but i know this is a step i have to take to reach my personal goals. So i want to thank FC Cincinnati, the city, the fans, and my teammates for everything. I'll always have the orange and blue in me!
Where, exactly, Okoli will go is very much unknown. It’s not hard to imagine Okoli trying his luck in Europe, especially if he’s willing to play in Scandinavia or a similar level. More likely, Okoli will likely look to get back into MLS where he made just 12 appearances in his first two years.
One possible destination could be the Sounders, who gave him his professional start as a Homegrown Player in 2014. Okoli effectively asked to be traded after his rookie campaign, hoping to find more playing time. The Sounders accommodated his request — something he still says he’s thankful for — and dealt him to the New England Revolution for a SuperDraft pick that turned out to be Tyler Miller.
During an interview with Nos Audietis earlier this year, Okoli expressed an openness to return to the Sounders. Although Okoli played primarily as a No. 9 with Cincinnati, he’s got the speed and skill to play outside, where he saw most of his time with the Sounders.