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January 6, 2011 at 12:00 AM

Sounders FC team release of offseason news and notes

sounders flag.jpgPhoto credit: Jim Bates, The Seattle Times

This in from the club:

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Sounders FC Brass Bound for MLS Combine

An indication that the new season is just around the corner is the departure later this week of Sounders FC management and technical staff for the 2011 adidas MLS Player Combine in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

General manager Adrian Hanauer and technical director Chris Henderson will be joined at the combine by head coach Sigi Schmid and his staff.

The annual player combine will be held at Central Broward Regional Park from January 7-11. The Combine will separate all players into four teams and feature two games per day on January 8, 10 and 11.

Last week, MLS announced the nine-player Generation adidas Class of 2011, plus the signing of four college seniors.

Among the signees are two of the three finalists for the Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy, the highest individual honor in intercollegiate soccer. Will Bruin of Indiana and Darlington Nagbe from Akron are each members of Generation adidas. The third MAC Hermann finalist is Colin Rolfe from Louisville. The award winner will be announced Friday in St. Louis.

SuperDraft: Four Picks in First Two Rounds

Sounders FC holds four picks in the first two rounds of the 2011 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas. The SuperDraft will take place at the Baltimore Convention Center on Thursday, January 13 at 9 a.m. PT.

In addition to its 11th overall selection in the first round, Seattle acquired two additional second-round picks via trades last season. It obtained D.C. United’s pick (21st overall) in the Stephen King trade and Chicago’s choice (27th overall) in the Freddie Ljungberg deal. Sounders FC also has its own pick at Number 29.

“We increased our efforts in scouting and we were able to cover the college game quite thoroughly,” said technical director Chris Henderson. “We are pleased with the level of talent coming out and we feel that with the number of picks we have we will find players to contribute to our roster in 2011.”

Expansion teams Vancouver and Portland, respectively, hold the first two selections in the 2011 SuperDraft.

Sounders FC Draft History

2009

1st round/1st overall — F Steve Zakuani, Akron

2nd round/16th overall — D Evan Brown, Wake Forest

3rd round/31st overall — D Jared Karkas, Azusa Pacific

4th round/46th overall — M/F Mike Fucito, Harvard

2010

1st round/11th overall — F David Estrada, UCLA

2nd round/27th overall — M Michael Seamon, Villanova

3rd round/43rd overall — traded to Houston

4th round/59th overall — D Jamel Wallace, San Diego State

Sigi Schmid to Receive Walt Chyzowych Lifetime Achievement Award

Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid has been chosen to receive the Walt Chyzowych Memorial Fund Lifetime Achievement Award for 2011.

The Walt Chyzowych Memorial Fund, in conjunction with the NSCAA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of National Soccer Coaches Association of America, will make the formal presentation on January 15 in Baltimore, Md., in conjunction with the annual NSCAA Convention.

The Walt Chyzowych Memorial Fund (WCMF) is a foundation intended to honor the memory and legacy of Walt Chyzowych, the former USA National Team and Olympic Coach as well as US Soccer Director of Coaching who passed away suddenly in 1994 while serving as head coach at Wake Forest University.

One of the most recognizable figures in American soccer, Schmid began his coaching career in 1980 as the head coach at his alma mater, UCLA. That began a 19-year collegiate coaching career that culminated with a record of 322-63-33, three NCAA national championships (1985, 1990 and 1997) and NSCAA National Coach of the Year honors in 1997. Scores of Schmid’s UCLA players have gone on to play professionally in the U.S. and abroad.

In 1999 Schmid moved into the professional ranks, taking the reins of the Los Angeles Galaxy. He led the Galaxy to championships in the US Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions Cup in 2001 and the 2002 MLS Cup. Later, Schmid led the Columbus Crew to the 2008 MLS Cup, earning MLS Coach of the Year for a second time. In his first two seasons in Seattle, Sounders FC has twice won the US Open Cup and qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs. Schmid enters the 2011 with an MLS record 139 wins.

“From the early days of the US Soccer West Coast Coaching Schools, where I first met and worked with Walt Chyzowych, I was inspired by his leadership, love for the game and confidence in American coaches,” Schmid said. “I have endeavored to be a positive role model like Walter. Just as he gave freely of himself to this great sport, I have strived to do the same.”

“My hope is that the players and staff with whom I served will join me in sharing our knowledge, the stories, and the subtle nuances that help us all see the beauty of this game and what it can become in America,” he added. “I am most pleased, humbled and honored by this award.”

“Sigi Schmid is now the active coach with the most MLS wins at 139,” stated Ralph Lundy, Executive Director of WCMF. “He has coached in 316 MLS matches and his Seattle Sounders are the first team in 27 years to win back-to-back US Open Cups. He is recognized as a coach who thoroughly prepares his team while also focusing on player development. He is a perfect choice to be recognized for his contributions to the American game in the spirit of one of his mentors, Walt Chyzowych.”

Colombia Flood Relief Update

Nearly $30,000 has now been raised for flood relief in Colombia through the efforts of Sounders FC, Mercy Corps, the Emerald City Supporters, Gorilla FC and North End Supporters.

In December, rain and flooding in several Colombian states caused the nation’s worst natural disaster in nearly two decades.Mercy Corps is currently providing emergency relief kits, including clean water, food and hygiene materials.

Mercy Corps will continue to accept donations for Colombia relief. For more information visit http://www.mercycorps.org/fundraising/seattlesoundersfc.

U18 Academy to Face Whitecaps on Saturday

The Sounders FC U18 Academy team will start the New Year by playing the Vancouver Whitecaps FC U18 Residency team on Saturday afternoon in Bellingham, Washington. First kick is set for 1 p.m. PT at Whatcom Community College.

The exhibition match will help prepare the Rave Green for a busy USSDA schedule later this month and in February. Both the U16 and U18 academy teams travel to Sacramento to play California Development Academy (CDA) on January 16 before returning home to play Crossfire Premier on January 23 at Lake Washington High School. In all, the Sounders FC teams will play eight league matches (including six on the road) by February 20.

Camps: Finishing School

Online registration is now open for the Sounders FC Finishing School. The five-week course begins January 28 at the Starfire Sports Complex and is designed for youth players (ages 8-14) that want, need and have a passion for finishing the ball in the final third. Registration is $200 and available at SoundersFC.com.

Upcoming Key Dates (times are Pacific & subject to change)

Saturday, January 7-Tuesday, January 11 – adidas MLS Player Combine, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Thursday, January 13, 9 a.m. – 2011 MLS SuperDraft, Baltimore

Sunday, January 16, 1/3:30 p.m. – Sounders FC Academy at California Development Academy, Loomis, Calif.

Saturday, January 29, 9 a.m.-Sunday, January 30 – Sounders FC Open Tryouts, Starfire Sports Complex, Tukwila, Wash.

Tuesday, March 15, 6:30 p.m. – MLS First Kick 2011, Sounders FC vs. L.A. Galaxy, Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field

Saturday, March 19, 4:30 p.m. – Sounders FC at New York Red Bulls, Red Bull Arena, Harrison, NJ

Seattle to Host MLS First Kick 2011

For an unprecedented third year in a row the MLS season will start in Seattle as the Sounders FC will meet the L.A. Galaxy in First Kick 2011. The March 15 match on the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field will be nationally televised by ESPN. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. PT. MLS First Kick 2011 is presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Seattle’s first road match is March 19 against the New York Red Bulls in Harrison, New Jersey. First kick is 4:30 p.m. PT. The complete MLS schedule will be released by early February 2011. Each team will play 34 games, facing each team home and away.

The Sounders FC home schedule will include matches with MLS newcomers Portland and Vancouver, plus an international friendly against a soon-to-be-announced opponent. Deposits for 2011 season tickets are currently being accepted. To join, please visit SoundersFC.com or call 877-MLS-GOAL.

Voting Ongoing for Seattle Sports Star of the Year

Fans still have time to cast votes online for Seattle Sports Star of the Year. Sounders FC forward Fredy Montero is one of five finalists selected by the Seattle Sports Commission for Sports Star of the Year. The award is given annually to a professional athlete or coach for outstanding sports achievement in the past year or season. Montero led Sounders FC in nearly every offensive statistical category in 2010, including 10 goals and 10 assists.

The list of nominees includes Swin Cash (Seattle Storm), Tim Lincecum (San Francisco Giants), Lewis Ratcliff (Washington Stealth) and Mike Williams (Seattle Seahawks). Fans can vote for their favorite nominee by visiting SeattleSports.org. Voting runs through January 21, 2011, and individuals can vote up to once a day. Winners will be announced during the show on Wednesday, January 26, 2011, at Benaroya Hall.

Open Tryout Registration

Registration for the Sounders FC Open Tryouts are being accepted online. Tryouts will be conducted on January 29-30 at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Washington. Open tryouts are open to male soccer players ages 18 years and older, and will feature small-sided as well as 11v11 games.Players will be assessed by members of the Sounders FC technical and coaching staffs.

The registration cost for each player is $125. To register, visit www.SoundersFC.com/opentryouts. Space is limited and will be filled on a first come, first serve basis. Registration fees will go directly to the Sounders FC Youth Academy program.

Throw-ins

Seattle Pacific University coach Mark Collings will coach one of the four teams at the MLS Combine. Collings will coach team Jabulani along with Brian Quinn of San Diego SC…Five members of the Generation adidas Class of 2011 come from the University of Akron. The Zips produced three SuperDraft picks in 2010 and in 2009 Sounders FC chose Steve Zakuani of Akron with the first overall selection…The story of Electron Boy was the No. 2 most-read article on The Seattle Times’ website in 2010…The Colorado Rapids signed Re-Entry Process selection and former Sounder Tyrone Marshall…Kasey Keller and Zach Scott will be joined by fellow supporters for the inaugural Sounders FC Cruise to the Mexican Riviera. They set sail on January 8 for the 7-day cruise presented by Holland America and AAA Travel…Steve Zakuani’s Birthday Bash is at VERA Project in Seattle on January 21. Presented by Zakuani’s non-profit organization Kingdom Hope, the event will feature live music and dancing. All proceeds will benefit Kingdom Hope and America SCORES. For more information, visit www.kingdom-hope.org

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