The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
The Sounders have affiliated with the Premier Development League via the former Tacoma Tide FC, now called the Sounders U-23s. Here are some quotes from the people involved in the making the move.
In the News Tribune, which will become the ‘home paper’ of the Sounders U23s, Don Ruiz has blogged several sets of quotes.
From Alan Hinton: “I think it’s wonderful that the club is getting involved, because at the end of the day, Tacoma has been a great area of growth with the Sounders: Mark Peterson, Jeff Stock, Jeff Durgan, and many other players. This is a great club. It’s going places.
“I loved it when I was in Tacoma, because when we started hitting the jackpot with the Stars it was because we had already won the hearts of the Tacoma fans. Then we started getting fans from Seattle coming to Tacoma. Those were great days.”
From Sigi Schmid: “I think it also gives us a chance to bring in some players: college players I think would like to come into the Seattle to play some of their summer soccer. It becomes a logical progress. It bridges that gap from the under-18 academy team to the pro team and becomes a great enhancement for the development of players in addition to their college experience.”
From Adrian Hanauer: “We certainly have great relationship with the guys over at Crossfire and the PDL team they’re running. I think the evolution of this is that the new owners of the PDL team in Tacoma, we have a licensing agreement with them … to run the women’s team as a Sounders team. They approached us with this idea, which made a lot of sense to work with them on both of these teams. I think there’s another benefit, which is the potential to continue to build interest in Pierce County and the Sounders in general. And I think playing games down there with some hopefully future stars maybe brings some fans out in Pierce County to see the team.”
Sounders U23 owner Lane Smith: “From a Pierce County standpoint, I’m not sure we’ve fully embraced the legacy of what Tacoma has done for the Sounders. This is version three of the Sounders. Version one of the Sounders had Tacoma players Mark Peterson, Jeff Stock, this list goes on and on. I graduated from Lincoln High School in 1980, and I was a sophomore. Could you imagine being down in Lincoln Bowl in the sand and there’s guys playing there and – poof – next thing you know Jeff Durgan’s starting for the New York Cosmos with Franz Beckenbauer and Pele, and Mark Peterson scoring goals for the Sounders in the NASL next to Roger Davies.”