Sounders FC part owner and general manager Adrian Hanauer all but 100-percent confirmed the organization will launch a USL PRO team in 2015 that will play at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila.
“We’re somewhere between 95 and 99 percent,” Hanauer said Tuesday.
MLS teams have by next year to either start their own USL PRO team or affiliate with an existing USL PRO team in the third-tier of American soccer as part of a leaguewide effort to revamp the reserve league and player development.
As an example, players like David Estrada and Jimmy Ockford, who have gone out on loan to seek playing time, would have that same opportunity — only much closer. The games would also be presumably more competitive than the existing reserve league. Not to mention the Sounders would have control over coaching, playing time, playing at certain positions, etc.
Now while the Sounders’ USL PRO team will almost certainly start out at Starfire, Hanauer said they’ll remain open to opportunities to relocate elsewhere in the region, “whether that means in the near vicinity to Starfire and Seattle or areas outside of the close geographic vicinity — Spokane or Boise or Bellingham or Everett or Tacoma. We’re open to those opportunities, but it would require finding a good partner and a good facility.”
The Los Angeles Galaxy are the only MLS team currently fielding its own USL PRO team, Galaxy II.
“It’s been great for us to talk with the Galaxy a little bit about their experience with the Galaxy II — learn what things have gone well for them, what they might do differently in the future,” Hanauer said.
So what do you think?
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