Even though it hasn't existed for long, the Seattle Sounders Academy continues to have talents recognized by national evaluators. In addition to producing two full US National Team players (Yedlin, Morris) and a U20 standout (Mansaray), the Academy has two players on the 2016 Hermann Trophy Watch List. This is a list of 28 male and 36 female players for coaches to keep an eye on when they vote for the award. A player not on the list can still be make the semifinalist list of 15.
The first Academy player on the Watch List is David Olsen, who was also a 2015 semifinalist. The Seattle University forward took time off from classes in the Spring, but will return in the Fall. He had 15 goals and an assist in 2015 as a sophomore at Seattle U. Olsen started his college career at San Diego State, where he lead the team in scoring before transferring back to his home state. He even partnered with Jordan Morris during his junior year at the Academy, and in his final season often played as a lone forward.
Seattle University senior defender Kyle Bjornethun also made the list; he was WAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2015 and scored four goals in both his sophomore and junior seasons. Bjornethun has played as a fullback and centerback with the Academy and currently plays right back with the Sounders U23s.
Both played for the Sounders U23s this year, and two other Sounders U23s also made the Watch List - Guillermo Delgado (4 goals, 2 assists in 13 games) and Christopher Wingate (1 g, 1 a in 7 games). Olsen had a goal and three assists with the PDL side in his 10 games. Bjornethun did not score or assist in his dozen appearances.
And yes, that means four of the U23s are preseason top 28 players. Darren Sawatzky's recruiting skills (and training, as he was the Academy Director when both Olsen and Bjornethun were in it) are undoubtably sharp. Listen for him on SonarFeed on Monday, July 25th.
David Olsen was on SonarFeed several months ago:
Update: Former Sounders U23 player Chris Wehan is also on the Watch List.