Tacoma, Wash. – With two Sounders U-23 stars already signed to the Sounders FC as homegrown players last week, two more Sounders U-23 alumni were drafted today in the MLS SuperDraft. 2012 Sounders U-23 defender, Taylor Peay was picked with the 26th overall selection to the Portland Timbers. Eight selections later, last summer’s U-23 midfielder, Eric Stevenson, was drafted by the New York RedBulls.
The Premier League Development was well represented at this year’s draft, with Peay and Stevenson among the 25 PDL alumni selected in the top 38 picks.
Eric Stevenson, 23, played six games for the U-23s last season, tallying one goal. In his senior season at the University of Akron, Eric was honored as All-MAC First team, playing every match for the Zips. He finished tied for third in points, with his teammate Aodhan. Stevenson’s MLS bio page can be seen here: http://www.mlssoccer.com/players/eric-stevenson.
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Taylor Peay played four matches with the Sounders U-23 in 2012 and started all 19 matches for the University of Washington this fall. He showed his set-piece prowess, netting six goals as a center back for the Huskies. Peay was part of the strong defensive core that led the Huskies to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament. During his senior season, he was a semi-finalist for the MAC Herman trophy. At the MLS Combine he was clocked as the fastest player in a 30-meter sprint. Peay’s MLS bio page can be seen here: http://www.mlssoccer.com/players/taylor-peay.
With two rounds left in the MLS SuperDraft and a supplemental draft to follow, there are plenty of opportunities for Aodhan Quinn, Michael Harris, Miguel Gonzalez, Josh Phillips, and Jake Feener to find a spot in a MLS training camp this spring.
Aodhan Quinn played eleven games for the U-23s last season. He finished third in minutes, tied for second in points, tied for first in goals, and led the team in shots. In his senior year at Akron, Aodhan won the Mid-American Conference Player of the Year award, was All-MAC First team, and was a MAC Herman semi-finalist. Although the draft can be unpredictable, Quinn had been projected to be drafted in the first two rounds, and will surely be snatched up on Tuesday when the draft resumes.
Michael Harris played nine games for the U-23s last season and led the Pac-12 in assists with 10 for the University of Washington. Known for his flip-throws, Michael played a key part in UW’s run to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament. With 16 defenders taken in Round 1 and 2, Harris could be near the top of the remaining defender player pool.
Miguel Gonzalez played only one match for the U-23s last season but started every match this season for the Redhawks. Miguel played a key role in Seattle U’s NCAA Tournament run and led the conference with 15 goals and 35 points.
Josh Phillips solidified a stout Sounders U-23 defense in 2013. He played part in the Sounders U-23 holding their opponents to one-or-fewer goals in eight games this season. Those clean sheets allowed the Sounders to snag three 1-0 victories in their 2013 campaign. At Gonzaga, he was named the West Coast Conference's Defender of the Year.
Jake Feener trained with the Sounders U-23 this year and played every minute in goal this season for Seattle U. tallying an 11-9-4 record. Jake led the conference in save percentage and shutouts and finished second in goals against average. He earned the WAC Tournament MVP award and was named to the WAC All-Tournament team.
Sounders FC U-23The Sounders FC U-23 (est.2012) competes in the United Soccer League’s Premier Development League (PDL). The Sounders FC U-23 is independently operated from the Seattle Sounders FC, under the ownership of Lane Smith and Cliff McElroy, with minority owner, Mike Jennings. The club is officially operated with a marketing, branding, and naming affiliation contract with the Seattle Sounders FC. The Sounders FC U-23 franchise has developed more than 20 professional players dating back to the club’s previous iteration as the Tacoma Tide in 2006.
PDLThe top developmental men’s league in North American, the 2013 PDL featured 64 teams within four conferences throughout the United States and Canada. The PDL season consists of 14 regular season matches for each team, seven home and seven away, and provides elite collegiate players the opportunity to taste a higher level of competition while maintaining their eligibility. In addition to league play, PDL teams compete in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as various exhibitions. The PDL has proven to be an important stepping-stone for top professionals now playing throughout the world.