Okoli, 17, is a junior at Todd Beamer high school in Federal Way. He made our Star Times all-area team last year and, as you can see, also goes by “Ugo” — his middle name.
* * *
Q: I’ve seen your name as Sean and Ugo, is there one you prefer and what’s the story there?
A: “Ugo is my middle name. It’s just Sean Ugo Okoli. But when kids figured out my middle name was ‘Ugo,’ they liked it better and started calling me that.”
Q: How did this opportunity to train with the Sounders come up?
A: “I’m really not sure. I’ve just been playing soccer. I got called into national camp a couple times. Then the Sounders academy started up and my coach knew one of the technical directors here. And that gave me the opportunity to train. I guess they liked me so they brought me back another week.”
Q: You’re not in school right now?
A: “Nope. It’s spring break.”
Q: What have you done well, or what has been the highlight for you?
A: “I don’t think I have a highlight. I haven’t been playing my best. I have noticed that I’ve done well holding up defenders, making sure I’m keeping my body in front of them and then finding my teammates around me to make combinations and stuff. I’m doing all right with that so far.”
Q: Is there any confidence boost being able to come out here and hold your own against the professionals?
A: “I guess. I’m not really thinking about it. I’m trying to make sure I’m getting the best out of training with the Sounders. I don’t know about my confidence. If anything it’s going down right now. It’s so much faster here.”
Q: Any cool moments with the guys? Going into a tackle with a guy or a moment with someone?
A: “Marking up Fredy Montero and changing right next to him in the locker room is pretty mind-blowing. And shooting against Kasey Keller.”