Tukwila, WA – The Sounders U-23 played against the Sounders FC in a training match at Starfire on Tuesday morning. The training match consisted of three 25-minute periods and was focused on weekend preparation and evaluation.
Sounders U-23 Head Coach, Darren Sawatzky said, “This is an exercise in player development. These kids get an opportunity to be exposed to the first team both from our academy and college kids that have an opportunity to get to the next level. It is an unbelievable opportunity to play in front of Sigi and their staff.”
The Sounders FC split into two teams with the U-23s getting to play both groups. Overall, the U-23s got 50 minutes of action against Sounders FC, and Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid was impressed with what he saw.
“They are obviously doing well,” said Schmid following the training match. “I know they have moved up to the top of their division up here. They have had three wins in a row. A lot of the kids are kids who have come out of the academy and some of the other kids they have invited in have done very well. It is good for them to get good results. It was good for them to come out today against us too so they can see exactly where they are in comparison to that level.”
Darren Sawatzky was pleased with the morning training match in terms of what his players could learn from the occasion.
“They are learning what the next level is,” Sawatzky said. “Again, it’s a big exercise in player development. Hopefully we will do more and more and the kids will get more exposure.”
Sawatzky added, “One 25-minute game does not make or break a player, but kids learn very quickly what it is to get to the next level when you watch guys that are making good money.”
The Sounders FC are coming off a rest weekend before they play Montreal on Saturday. The Sounders U-23 are on a streak of three straight shutout wins in PDL play.
Next up for the Sounders U-23 is a Friday night game at historic Cheney Stadium. June 15th, at 7:30pm, the Sounders U-23 will play the Kitsap Pumas. The Pumas are the only team that has beaten the Sounders U-23 this season (May 19th, 3-1). Tickets are available at SoundersU23.com or at the gate.