In their first four years of existence as an MLS club, the Seattle Sounders never had a homegrown player on their roster. That all changed in January 2013 when the Sounders signed DeAndre Yedlin.
We all know the story by now. Hometown plays well for hometown team, gets national team call up and shines in World Cup. Yedlin is now no longer a Sounder as he officially transferred to Tottenham this January.
That’s enough about Yedlin. Since January 2013, the Sounders signed three other players as homegrown players—Sean Okoli, Aaron Kovar and Victor Mansaray. Well, you can add a fifth player to that list—Darwin Jones. Jones just finished his senior season at the University of Washington where he scored eight goals to go with five assists.
Take a look at Jones’ career stats while at UW:
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It was first reported by Ives Galarcep via Twitter:
Back in November Jones spoke about the possibility of signing and playing with the Sounders:
"“As soon as the season’s done, I’m technically Seattle Sounders property. I’ll be signing with them, but I try not to think of it like that. It’s an exciting thing, because at least I’ll know where I’m going unlike most people who enter the draft.”—courtesy mlssoccer.com"
Some are thinking Jones will be competing for time at forward as well as left wing. There is a lot of talent and experience in front of him. I see him spending sometime at S2, the Sounders USL Pro affiliate, to hone his skills. That would be the best thing for him in the near future. Get some time learning the system and find a position that will suit him and the team the best.
I won’t act like I know a lot about Jones, but I have watched him from time to time when UW soccer was televised. He has a lot of pace to him and was able to blow past most of his opponents. He might very well be able to dominate opponents in USL, but MLS is a different beast. There are many talented midfielders and fullbacks to keep pace with him and slow him down.
I am excited to see what Jones brings the Sounders at S2 and the big club. I also love how they are signing so many homegrown players. It appears that they know how to grow talent.
What do you think? Are you as excited as me about Jones signing with the Sounders?
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