Many a child dreams of playing for their hometown team, but as the years edge on the backyard fence seems less and less likely to become the outfield wall at Safeco Field and the edge of the street less and less likely to become the corner of the end zone at Centurylink for most. For a few, though, the possibility remains perched, perhaps, just within reach. For those who still envision wearing the Sounders crest there are two upcoming opportunities, with tryouts being held by both the Sounders U23s and S2.
The U23 tryout dates are on Saturday March 25 and Sunday March 26 at Sunset Stadium in Sumner, Wash. The official U23 amateur affiliate of the MLS and USL Sounders teams, the U23’s have spent the past five seasons in the Premier Development League (PDL).
In those five seasons Darren Sawatzky and the U23’s have helped 55 players to pro contracts including Deandre Yedlin, Aaron Kovar, Sean Okoli, Darwin Jones, and MLS Rookie of the Year Jordan Morris.
The tryouts will run 8 am - noon on March 25, with players being invited to the next day’s tryout “game” that will start at 9 am and run till 11 am. Players will need to bring shin guards and sign up online prior to the event. Interested players can find information here.
Cost to tryout is $50. Any person age 18 and older is invited to the tryouts due to the PDL allowing overage players. The Sounders U 23’s will be playing in the Northwest Division of the PDL, which includes the league runner-up Calgary. The Northwest Division has produced at least a semi finalist for the national title since 2010.
For those who wish to be paid to play soccer, the Sounders’ USL affiliate will also be holding open tryouts. Prospective professionals aged 16+ can register for the tryouts, which take place at Starfire Sports on February 10-11, for 100 American Dollars.
This is S2’s second set of tryouts this offseason and the first held in the Seattle area. The first tryout took place in North Carolina in affiliation with the Twin City Youth Soccer Association. As of yet there is no word of anyone from the North Carolina tryout being invited to participate in S2’s preseason camp but that shouldn’t be taken as a demonstration of futility.
Unlike the NFL’s allegedly open Regional Combines — The “open tryout” part, by all indications, being mostly a publicity stunt — S2 tryouts seem to be a marginally legitimate path to the team, or at least to a number preceded by the honorific “Trialist” during preseason camp. The 2015 Starfire tryouts saw six players and the 2016 Starfire tryouts saw two players make it through to preseason.
So, if you believe yourself to be an undiscovered talent the Sounders have provided you with four days to prove that you are not delusional - Have fun and good luck fellow dreamers.