Henry Brauner and Wade Webber have both taken new roles within the Seattle Sounders front office, the team announced on Monday. Brauner will now be the team’s Technical Director, effectively serving as GM Craig Waibel’s second-in-command. Webber steps down from his role as Tacoma Defiance head coach to move into the front office as the Director of Development.
“We are thrilled to offer these opportunities to both Henry and Wade,” Waibel said in a team statement. “Both of them have been impacting our technical staff ecosystem for years, and the quality of their work has allowed us to thrive throughout the development ranks. Today’s announcement allows us to get the best out of two quality staff members, further aligning with our long-term development goals.”
Brauner had been promoted to Vice President of Player Development last year after rejoining the Sounders in 2020 as the Director of Player Development and First Team Development Coach. He first joined the Sounders in 2015 as Director of Recruitment for the Sounders Academy before joining the United States youth national team setup from 2018-2020.
Brauner will now “oversee the on-field technical and tactical execution across the organization” while also effectively serving as the primary scout for international players under the age of 23.
Webber, who grew up in Federal Way, played for the Sounders from 1994-96 and then joined the organization in 2016 as an academy coach. He then joined the Tacoma Defiance as an assistant in 2018-20 before assuming the head coaching role from 2021-23. The Defiance narrowly missed out on the USL Championship playoffs in his first year and won Pacific Division titles in both of their seasons under him in MLS Next Pro.
As the Director of Development he effectively replaces Brauner as the head of the academy, “while also being responsible for the growth and further education of the Tacoma Defiance players and staff members”, which presumably capitalizes on his experience as a high school teacher.
There was no announcement yet on who would succeed Webber as Defiance head coach, but assistant coach Mike Morris has previously filled in on numerous occasions and is in the running for the position.