Following the Seattle Sounders U-23 Open Tryouts this weekend in Tacoma, the Sounders U-23 has announced 3 local signings. Jamael Cox, Nick Palodichuk, and Sean Okoli have been signed for the 2012 season.
All three signings are Sounders FC Academy products. Jamael Cox is the younger brother of former Tacoma Tide star, Rafael Cox. Jamael has had trials with Rangers of Scotland and FC Nurnberg in Germany. Nick Palodichuk, a freshman at Duke University, has played multiple matches for the U-17 US National Team. Sean Okoli played in every match as a freshman for Wake Forrest this year. Okoli also has extensive experience with the U-18 US National Team.
Cox, Palodichuk, and Okoli are currently finishing up their college spring seasons and will arrive for the start of the PDL season. “These exciting players will look to combine with players selected at the open tryouts and other players returning for the PDL season,” coach Sawatzky said.
Saturday and Sunday, over 100 players showed their skills for the Sounders U-23 coaching staff on the University of Puget Sound field, in attempt to join these signings on the squad.
"The players worked extremely hard this weekend in the rain at the University of Puget Sound,” head coach, Darren Sawatzky said. “We are excited about a couple finds at this event and we look forward to getting started once the players arrive home from school this spring. We appreciate Reece Olney and Puget Sound working with us to run these tryouts."Formerly the Tacoma Tide, the Sounders U-23 was acquired by the Sounders for the 2012 season. The team serves as a development platform for the Sounders FC first team. They compete in United Soccer Leagues' Premier Development League, the top U-23 men’s league in North America and features 64 teams across the United States and Canada.
The Sounders U-23 plays in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference. PDL teams play a 16-match, regular-season schedule, which runs from May through July.
Notes: The Sounders U-23 has a new website. The site can be found at SoundersU23.com. The website matches the team’s rebranding and aligns with the Sounders FC colors and organizational setup.