Sounders 2: Fan Ownership And The Impact Of DeAndre Yedlin


Unprecedented seems to be the word of the day.

Seattle Sounders’ general manager Adrian Hanauer announced on Tuesday the formation of Sounders 2, a developmental team for players in the organizations youth academy and younger players on the first team. Sounders 2 will join in the USL Pro, the third division of US soccer, in 2015.

Here’s the unprecedented part.

Sounders 2: Fan Ownership

80% of the team will be controlled by existing Sounders FC owners, but the other 20% of Sounders 2 will be owned by the new Sounders Community Trust. The Sounders want to create a stronger connection (if that’s even possible) between the Franchise and their many Emerald City Supporters. Here is the link if you’re interested.

“The partnership with the Sounders Community Trust supports the club’s vision for a fan-involved sports organization that deeply values the input and perspective of its supporters,” Hanauer said. “S2 is hopefully the next evolution in fan engagement and fan connection.”

Zach Scott, who signed on to play for the Sounders in 2002, and has played in over 300 games with Seattle, was presented with the first membership into the SCT.

Zach Scott being awarded membership into the Sounders Community Trust.

Sounders 2 tickets are available for those who purchase a share of the SCT, and will be available to the general public within a few weeks. The team’s home games will be played at Starfire Sports Facility in Tukwila, which is already being upgraded in order to be suitable for the USL team and their fans.

The USL Pro is currently a 14-team league, but with some major additions and subtractions coming in 2015. 12 teams have been reported to be joining, and at least two have confirmed leaving.

The Portland Timbers also announced Tuesday their own T2 team that will join the USL Pro next year.

Sounders 2: The Impact Of DeAndre Yedlin

One major advantage that the Sounders have over other youth academies and elite squads in the area, is the success of homegrown talent DeAndre Yedlin.

Yedlin played for the Sounders youth academy for a year and a half before his graduation from O’Dea High School, and subsequent college career at Akron University. After two years at Akron, he signed back with the Sounders FC to become the team’s first homegrown player signed with the first team.

He was named to the MLS Team of the Week in his debut and so began his meteoric rise that has so far culminated with a transfer to Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League (move will be some time in 2015) and action in multiple World Cup matches for the United States.

The meteoric rise of Yedlin through the ranks of both professional and international soccer, and the role that Seattle played in his development, should be a great talking point for Sounders 2 in the recruitment of promising young talent looking to join a youth academy.