Mark Lee (left), Steve Mohn (center), Chris Brundage (right) (photos by SoundersPhotos.com)
“We are excited to build on the success the players had last year,” Darren Sawatzky. “The U23 squad represents the next step to the first team for our academy products and it gives the top college players in the country a place to showcase as they look to the next level.”
Each of these defenders will bring experience and composure to a group of young talents.
Mark Lee is a multiple-year All Western Conference defender who can play centrally or as an outside back. He played all but one match last year and ranked 2nd on the squad in minutes played, behind DeAndre Yedlin.
“It’s going to be an exciting year,” Lee said. “Fans will see a bunch of young guys and some new faces coming in again this summer. Making it as far as we did last year and having the open cup this year really makes me excited to get back at it.”
Steve Mohn and Mark Lee were teammates with the Tacoma Tide in 2009 and again in 2011 with the Kitsap Pumas. That season the Pumas competed in the U.S. Open Cup and were knocked out by Sounders FC. This year, Mohn and Lee will team up again in the Open Cup, this time for Sounders FC U-23.
Steve Mohn played every minute of last year’s PDL season for the Kitsap Pumas, including their 2012 U.S. Open Cup match.“Having a seasoned player like Steve Mohn helps the young players grow and develop,” Darren Sawatzky said. “We are very happy to have someone onboard with his experience.”
Chris Brundage finished his college career in the fall with a 2nd round run for the Washington Huskies. The center defender fought back from an early season injury to help the Dawgs to a 13-4-3 record, good enough for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. After a win against Air Force, UW fell to the eventual College Cup runner up, Creighton.
Brundage, who spent most of his senior season riddled with injuries, showed his quality during his junior year with 13 starts on the Washington season.
Sawatzky said, “Chris was a stalwart for us last year on the backline and we expect the same level out of him this spring. His leadership as he comes out of college will also help with the young players in our development structure.”
Signings for Sounders FC U-23 will continue to be announced throughout the months of March and April. The Sounders U-23 kick off the season with two exhibitions on the road before the first home match on May 24. For more info on roster, schedules, and the U.S. Open Cup draw, see SoundersU23.com.
Mark LeePosition: DefenderHeight: 5-10Born: 10-5-87Hometown: Puyallup, WACollege: Highline C.C.Last Club: Sounders FC U-23Citizenship: USA
Steve MohnPosition: DefenderHeight: 6-1Born: 7-24-85Hometown: Kent, WACollege: University of WashingtonLast Club: Kitsap PumasCitizenship: USA
Chris Brundage Position: DefenderHeight: 6-1Born: 5-15-91Hometown: Gig Harbor, WACollege: University of WashingtonLast Club: Sounders FC U-23Citizenship: USA