With DeAndre Yedlin's rapid rise the question of what it means to other Academy players is frequent and now answered. The video above from US Soccer makes it clear how much seeing one of their own perform on the globe's greatest stage. At least one of the U18s has trained overseas already. The 18s are flooding American colleges and several should have the opportunity to leave college early and sign with the forthcoming USL PRO team.
It is important that it isn't just Yedlin showing the current crop what can be done. Okoli and Kovar are with the First Team. Morris practiced with the United States. Cox signed with the NASL Rowdies. There isn't just a college future in this Academy. You can go as far as your talent, determination and health can take you.
The U18s cruised in the Academy playoffs. They finished with a +15 goal differential and only gave up a single goal (to RSL) while facing some of the best USSDA sides in the nation. On either July 7th or 9th they will be hosting the Montreal Impact Academy. Montreal once scored 12 goals in a game, but they are much less goal diverse than Seattle. When the date and time are verified we will share that detail.
Playoff Goal Scorers
The U16s were not as fortunate. They did not advance as they earned two draws and a loss. Goal scoring data at that level is hard to come by, but at the least left back Westra scored a goal, as did Hernandez. Two other goals scored were not named on the Academy twitter account.
Who has Next?
The June Depth Chart pointed this out, but it bears repeating here when your focus is solely on #TheFuture. There are several talents that are equal to first round talent, with one real and true game changer in the system. There are also some where college is probably not the right answer. This is one of the reasons that the USL PRO team, still not official, but almost certainly going to happen at Starfire.
Here's the thing with prospects - they don't all turn out. Some have obvious high ceilings and don't make an impact at a significant level. Some of low ceilings and reach the League. This is the same for draft picks, potential HGPs, international stars. It doesn't matter. All the scouting and assessment is a best guess, and sometimes our best guesses fail.
But that doesn't mean that the player does not have value. If only 10% of a graduating Academy class becomes a pro it's a benefit to the team, sure. But that other 90% get quality training, a vast majority go to top notch colleges and most of all these men will be Sounders for life. No hyperbole, but they will love the organization in ways that are hard to understand.
Academy tryouts start next week.
Academy tryouts for Seattle Sounders begin on Monday. Visit the Academy page on the website to register.— Sounders Academy (@SoundersAcademy) June 26, 2014
That registration site is here.