Nick Raskasky (left) / Aaron Kovar (center) / Darwin Jones (right) (Photos by SoundersPhotos.com)
TACOMA, Wash. – Following Open Tryouts for Sounders FC and Sounders FC U-23, which saw nearly 200 participants fighting for a spot in rave green, the Sounders FC U-23 have announced the signing of three Sounders Academy products, Darwin Jones, Aaron Kovar, and Nick Raskasky for the 2013 PDL Season.Top players from the Sounders FC Open Tryout will be called back to trial with the Sounders FC U-23 in attempt to earn a signing.
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Darwin Jones, 20, returns to the Sounders U-23 after scoring four goals and adding two assists in only nine matches played. Jones has spent time training with Sounders FC and will join the University of Washington soccer team in the fall.
Head Coach and GM of the Sounders U-23, Darren Sawatzky, said, “Darwin is a known commodity and having watched him play for the last 10 years, I am excited to watch him score again this summer. His pace and power will be exciting for the Sounders U23 fans.”
Aaron Kovar, 19, is a Sounders FC Academy product finishing up his freshman year at Stanford University. He has seen time in Sounders FC Reserve matches as well. In 2011, Kovar played for the U.S. U-18 National Team before being named Washington State Gatorade Player of the Year. This past season with Stanford, he earned Pac-12 Freshman of the Year by scoring three goals and adding two assists in 15 matches played.
Darren Sawatzky said, “Kovar is an exciting young winger with loads of potential. After the year at Stanford, we can’t wait to get him back in green and continue his development.”
Nick Raskasky, 20, returns to the Sounders after a freshman year at West Virginia University where he started all but one match. The defender produced two goals and two assists for WVU in 2012. The Tacoma, Washington native is a Sounders FC Academy alum.
“The past few years have been tough for Nick as he fought through some injuries to build a level of character we look for in players,” said Sawatzky. “His season at West Virginia speaks volumes and this summer should be a good showcase for him.”
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.
Darwin JonesPosition: ForwardHeight: 5-10Born: 4-4-92Hometown: Des Moines, WACollege: Highline C.C. / WashingtonLast Club: Sounders FC U-2
Aaron KovarPosition: DefenderHeight: 5-10Born: 8-14-93Hometown: Seattle, WACollege: Stanford UniversityLast Club: Sounders Academy Nick Raskasky Position: DefenderHeight: 6-0Born: -1-27-93Hometown: Tacoma, WACollege: West Virginia UniversityLast Club: Sounders FC U-23Citizenship: USA