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Who's Got Next?

After Darwin Jones' white-hot performance against the Sounders Reserves the most common question was "Why hasn't he signed?" The most common question should have been "Who is next?"

Sounders U18s after a win
Sounders U18s after a win
Mike Russell Foto

After watching the United States U-17 v Seattle Sounders U-18+ match as well as other recent Academy matches somethings become apparent. Next is going to be an interesting discussion. There is a hollow. Not every future HGP plays at UW or the current system. Many of the current U-18s just signed NLIs and head off to college next year.

Already at least two college players with Sounders ties trained with the First Team. One then took off to train with Everton.

The other is Darwin Jones. He's on Spring Break now and one of three Sounders that signed with the U23s. Jones told Sounder at Heart that his goal is to be a Sounder.

"Hopefully I can get a Home Grown and play right here," Jones said. He also looks to the three local HGPs on the roster as a guide. "It gives me motivation and shows me that anything is possible. You've got to take your opportunities when you get them."

That opportunity is most likely to come after the next college season. Circumstances could force an earlier offer, or a current Academy player could be signed rather than be lost over the summer. Still, the short list of next is short.

Jones and Morris make a lot of sense. They are ready for MLS play now. Troy Peterson will be a senior. The Federal Way product should get a look. Younger, but as ready is Jordan Schweitzer. At the University of Denver he's already showing promise.

  1. Morris
  2. Jones
  3. Peterson
  4. Schweitzer
That's the short list barring a direct signing straight from those that played with the Academy during their 2013/14 season. Now, if Sounders FC launch the USL PRO team next shifts quite a bit. Several players could be signed to that level in ways that don't fit Seattle's typical practice to this point.

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