TUKWILA, WA—The Sounders U23 added another name to their growing list of alumni who have signed professional contracts when Zev Taublieb signed with the defending USL champion Sacramento Republic FC. Taublieb, a midfielder, played for the Sounders U23 last season appearing in a number of games and making two starts. “Zev epitomizes what we work to do here at Sounders U23,” stated Darren Sawatzky, head coach, “He made our group through the tryout process, fought every day with an incredible attitude, and he won our staff over with his tireless work ethic and drive.”
Taublieb is the 31st Sounders u23 player to drafted or sign a professional contract in the past three years. “The Sounders U23 team fosters a mission of moving players to the next level by helping put the finishing touches in player development before they jump to higher level professional leagues,” said Sawatzky.
“We have taken on the role of helping these young players get competitive games in the spring and summer along with an amazing training environment,” added Lane Smith, Co-owner, “We are here to win games but watching players make the leap is incredible and we take great pride in helping them further their careers.”
“It feels wonderful to have earned my first professional contract,” said Taublieb, “Anyone who knows me will tell you I have worked very hard to be where I am. As a dedicated athlete I am already working on the next goal, but there are certain times in life when it is good to take a moment and see how far you have come. When I signed the contract I made sure to take that moment and to thank all of those who helped me achieve this goal. It is very humbling. ”
“I would not have signed my first professional contract unless it was for the Sounders U23 side and Darren Sawatzky and his coaching staff,” said Taublieb, “ Sawatzky and his staff are professionals and coach accordingly. Every training session is specific and with purpose. No second is wasted. A lot is demanded not only physically, but mentally.” Taublieb went on to say, “ Sawatzky taught me how to study the game, adapt to the game, find the game, and learn from the game. He taught me how to make the right decisions. It is in large part because of this that I am at the next level. Being part of the Sounders U23 showed me what it meant to be a professional. I am grateful for my time with the Sounders U23 team and I am incredibly grateful I had the chance to learn from Sawatzky and his staff.”
Much like he did with the Sounders U23, Taublieb made the Rebublic FC after a several weeks as a trialist. “I’m very excited,” said Zev, “ It’s been something I’ve been working towards for a very long time. Sacramento Republic FC specifically is really a dream come true. Preki is an unbelievable coach and this whole environment is by far the most professional, I think, in the league. It’s really amazing.” On playing in the USL, Taublieb said, “the level here at Sacramento is outstanding. Every player is very talented. The coaches are amazing. The sessions are intense and that is the way I like it. I am very excited to learn under Preki and his staff.”
Taublieb, a native of Malibu, CA played college soccer at Valparaiso University, in Valparaiso Indiana where he was captain of the 2014 team starting all 18 contests. Zev netted three goals and collected two assists for eight points, ranking second on the team in all three categories. Two of his goals were game-winners.
Taublieb’s efforts on the pitch helped propel Valpo to its first ever top-25 ranking in Top Drawer Soccer and Soccer America’s polls, while also receiving votes in the NSCAA national poll and getting as high as fourth in the NSCAA Great Lakes Region poll. Taublieb also appeared in 18 matches as a junior and 20 matches as a sophomore. In 2011 Taublieb appeared in nine matches as a freshman and was named to the Horizon League All-Newcomer Team.
Taublieb was also named a First-Team All-American by the Jewish Sports Review in their most recent publication. This is Taublieb’s third postseason award, as he was named to the NSCAA Scholar All-North/Central Region Second-Team and Second-Team All-Horizon League.
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