With the signing of four Homegrown Players and the addition of Sounders 2 there is no doubt that more kids who come through the Sounders Academy will sign as professionals. Seattle's initial foray into the HGP program proved just how valuable the system can be.
Sounders 2 StoryStream
Sounders 2 StoryStream
The signings of Okoli and Kovar showed that an HGP contract can be as much about development of the man as it is about helping the 18. Seattle didn't need the depth that it used in past seasons. Only 23 players played a minute with the First Team this year. Future youth signings will often not be given First Team time. They will earn it on a club that's primary goal is winning trophies, lots of them. Sounders 2 will be their path to development. Here are some of the players we can reasonably expect to be next in line:
Jordan Morris - the son of the current Sounders doctor and a Mercer Island native. Morris is a dynamic forward that uses speed and a strong touch to score goals in bunches. His rise is Yedlin-like, going from Washington state player of the year to national player of the year to a great college season and then a senior USMNT call. He also had a week with the Everton Reserves. Morris is currently at Stanford, may have European interest, but will probably be a Sounder, eventually. Jordan plays a style kind of like Clint Dempsey.
Darwin Jones - comes via Mount Rainier High School. He played at Highline where his talent could not be questioned. He's also the primary scoring threat at No. 11-ranked University of Washington right now. Last year he played a bit on the left wing, but he's really a forward. Speedy with a quick left foot, Darwin has core body strength that allows him to body up all but the largest CBs. His play is similar in type to Obafemi Martins.
Duncan McCormick - the son of former Sounders player and current Academy head coach Dick McCormick. Duncan is from the Seattle Academy, and trained with Valencia FC for some time. He recently decided to not go to Wake Forrest and was training heavily with the 1st Team over the Summer. Currently, McCormick plays for the reborn Tacoma Stars of indoor soccer fame. In the outdoor game, he's a CDM/CM that lacks a bit in pace. Duncan is a solid passer and willing to tackle hard. He currently thinks faster than he moves, which for a youth player is a huge plus. He's kind of Brad Evans-y.
Malcom Frago - an international signing to the Academy. Frago's pre-Sounders history includes time with Saprissa and the Aspire Academy in Qatar. He's a slight, speedy trickster that can play any attacking midfield position, but is probably best as a high right wing. Think Fabian Castillo or Joao Plata. He is currently training with Saprissa again, but only with the Reserve team.
Victor Rojas - came to the Sounders from Venezuela by way of Florida. He is mostly a central attacking mid, but also played wide. Rojas likes to work passing sequences, can dribble a bit, and is a capable shooter. He already has a large frame. Think an Alvaro Fernandez-style mid. He is currently training at a soccer development center in Orlando.
Giving odds on which of those will sign first is a nearly useless endeavor. The decision will be based on what is best for the player, the First Team, Sounders 2 and in line with the rules structure of MLS. Some are in college. Some are available on Frees. One would need an ITC. There's also no assurance that each sign with the Sounders. Every one of these players has other paths available to them.