One of Garth Lagerwey's stated goals was to reduce the fractured landscape in Puget Sound's youth soccer scene. Over the past few months that meant first affiliating with Seattle United, and now adding Eastside FC and Pac NW means the Sounders youth umbrella covers Seattle, East King County and South King County.
The two new partner clubs demonstrate a willingness to put development over contractual obligations, as one of the clubs is not an Adidas partner.
"The partnerships with Eastside FC and PacNW fit into our strategic plan of strengthening the club's presence throughout King County and the state of Washington," Lagerwey said in a statement. "By recruiting the elite players in our own region, it helps our effort to develop the Sounders FC Academy into one of the nation's top youth systems."
Both PacNW and Eastside FC have strong Sounders connections. Former players Chance Fry and Tom Bialek are respectively Executive Director and Director of Coaching for Eastside, while PacNW's Technical Director is former Sounder Leighton O'Brien.
"PacNW has a long history of working closely with the Sounders Academy, and we are very excited to formalize our relationship with the best club in MLS," said PacNW President John Wilson. "This relationship with Sounders FC will elevate our established programs and help each of our players achieve their maximum potential, as well as raise our standards as an entire club organization both on and off the field."
PacNW developed nine players who are currently in the Sounders Academy.
Eastside FC is most well known for being Jordan Morris' youth club prior to his joining the Sounders.
"Eastside FC has always enjoyed a strong and valued relationship with the Seattle Sounders highlighted by the success of Jordan Morris," said Eastside FC President Tim Bauman. "This new club partnership takes Eastside FC to another level and will provide benefits for every member of our club. We are honored to be chosen and to be even more closely aligned with the Seattle Sounders."
Both local youth clubs have had informal ties with the Sounders Academy since its foundation. PacNW shares the Starfire Sports facility with the Academy as well.