Sounders Insider

14 Sounders FC Academy players pick their colleges

UW and WSU football got most of the attention this week, but yesterday was the start of the letter-of-intent signing period for soccer players, too. Here's where 14 members of the Sounders FC Academy U-18 team are headed:

Fourteen members of the Seattle Sounders FC Academy Under-18 team have committed their futures to collegiate soccer programs. Along with developing talent for the Major League Soccer club's senior team, the Sounders FC Academy also strives to develop young men to maximize their educational options.

"We are very proud of the student athletes in the Sounders FC Academy program," said Darren Sawatzky, Director of Youth Development. "The Letter of Intent day is an exciting time for these boys considering the hard work and focus they have spent in the classroom and on the field. We wish all the players the very best and look forward to watching their progress."

The National Letter of Intent signing period began on February 1.

Among those that have signed an NLI, Aaron Kovar of Garfield High School will attend Stanford University. He was the 2011 Gatorade Washington State Player of the Year.

Six Sounders FC Academy players will remain in Seattle for college as three players committed to the University of Washington and three committed to Seattle University.

Austin Curtis (Forward, Bonney Lake HS): Western Washington University

Dominique Dismuke (Forward, Decatur HS): University of Washington

Michael Gallagher (Defender, Eastlake HS): University of Washington

Jesse Klug (Forward, Overlake College Prep): Bucknell University

Aaron Kovar (Midfield, Garfield HS): Stanford University

Ian Lange (Defender, Kennedy HS): University of Washington

Joe Mancini (Midfielder, Eastside Catholic): Seattle University

Curtis Pederson (Midfielder/Defender, Bellarmine Prep): Western Washington University

Sawyer Preston (Defender, Eastlake HS): Western Washington University

Nick Raskasky (Defender, Highline CC): University of West Virginia

Jordan Schweitzer (Midfielder, Jackson HS): University of Denver

Justin Solomon (Midfielder, Highline CC): Seattle University

Austin Sweeney (Midfielder, Todd Beamer HS): Seattle University

Keenan Townsend (Goalkeeper, Skyview HS): San Diego State

The Sounders FC Academy will host an Open House in July. It provides an opportunity to learn more about the Sounders FC Academy U15/16 and U17/18 teams as well as other programs offered to enhance the 2012-2013 Youth System for Sounders FC.