The Tacoma Tide is discussing a working agreement that could bring the Premier Development League team under the Seattle Sounders FC umbrella.
“We’re having some conversations about that,” Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer said Monday. “ We’ve had discussions about ways in which we might be able to partner together on our academy kids that go off to school.”
Last season, Sounders draft choice Bryan Meredith spent most of his rookie season playing with the PDL Kitsap Pumas before returning to the Sounders. However, Hanauer said that kind of relationship with the Tacoma team would probably be rare.
Typically, players who fail to make an MLS roster would want to join the NASL or USL Pro leagues, which can offer not only a salary of $1,500-$3,000 per month, but also more games than the PDL, which is a mostly amateur league playing a 16-game schedule from May to July.
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In November, ownership of the Tacoma Football Club – which runs the Tide and Seattle Sounders Women – was transferred to Lane Smith of Tacoma and Cliff McElroy, with former owner/operator Mike Jennings maintaining a minority stake.
Contacted Monday, Smith said he would prefer Hanauer to speak on the topic.
The Tide had previously announced that it was looking for a new home field somewhere in Pierce County after playing most of its six seasons at Curtis High School in University Place and part of last season at Stadium Bowl in Tacoma.
If the deal with the Sounders goes through, the club could get not only a new pitch, but new rave green kits along with a new name – perhaps Sounders U-23.
“I think that’s a possibility,” Hanauer said. “It’s something that we’ve discussed. We have to dot the I’s and cross the T’s and make sure the legal department goes through everything. But yeah we’ve talked about some kind of Sounders moniker connected to the team.”
Just five days after the MLS SuperDraft and two days ahead of the start of training camp, Sounders FC gets another chance to add to its roster today in the Supplemental Draft.
“There’s a few guys that are still out there that I think can come in and fill in some of the spots that we need for depth,” technical director Chris Henderson said. “We’re going to look for that gem who can come in and make the team and surprise us.”
Sounders reserve goalkeeper Josh Ford came to the club in the 2011 Supplemental Draft. And forward Mike Fucito was selected in the fourth round of the 2009 SuperDraft – which these days is the equivalent of the second round of the Supplemental Draft.
This four-round draft once again involves college seniors and a few foreign players not selected Thursday in the two-round SuperDraft. The Sounders have the 33rd, 34th, 53rd and 72nd picks. They lost their first-round pick to Chicago in a deal last season that allowed them to sign forward Sammy Ochoa. They gained a second pick in the second round in a trade with Dallas.
“When you’re picking in the supplemental part of the draft, to some degree, it’s a numbers game because they’re players that we probably haven’t seen as much as the top players,” Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer said. “ It’s a chance for us to bring three, four, five more players into camp. Sometimes there’s a diamond in the rough.”
New and veteran Sounders will report to training camp Thursday at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila. The club begins competitive play March 7, meeting Santos Laguna in a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal match at CenturyLink Field. Sounders FC begins its fourth MLS regular season March 17 at home against Toronto FC.
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