2000 Mar 7

From today's Sounders news release:


The Seattle Sounders Select soccer team have undergone a revamping for the 2000 season. The Select will be a men's U-23 amateur team (with a few O-23 players allowed) in United Soccer Leagues (USL) Premier Development League (PDL) and provide an opportunity for college and top level high school upperclassmen in the Puget Sound region to play at a higher level.

"This is an outstanding opportunity for the amateur players in Washington State and a way to reach out to the Washington State soccer community," said Select co-owner Neil Farnsworth. "We have a commitment to develop area talent and hopefully we're on our way to doing that. We would like to help with the growth of soccer in the U.S."

"I'm delighted with the new arrangement," said Select co-owner Bill Hurme. "Having a great organization will benefit the team and will provide soccer fans with quality soccer."

Christopher Taylor will be the Select Manager with James Kraman handling Select Operations. Andrea Bradley is office manager.

"The talent pool in the Puget Sound area is outstanding, and having a solid core of good players to work with will enhance our program and allow them to advance to the professional level," said Taylor. "We're sure that the great soccer fans in this area will embrace the Sounders Select and our goal of developing soccer."

The Sounders Select will play their home games at Seattle Memorial Stadium. The 20-game schedule runs from May through July, with the playoffs starting in early August. Each team's schedule is comprised of 20 games, and will kickoff with four Lamar Hunt US Open Cup qualification matches early in the season. Two of the four qualifying games will count towards the league standings, for a total of 18 league games. The Select will open the 2000 regular season on May 7 at home against the Spokane Shadow.

The Select play in the Northwest Division of the Premier Development League (PDL). The other teams in the division are Spokane, Yakima Reds, Abbotsford 86ers (British Columbia), Cascade Surge (Oregon), and Willamette Valley Firebirds (Oregon). The Select have been in existence since 1995.

The PDL is the third level of the three men's outdoor leagues in the USL system and begins its 12th season of play in 2000. One level below the D3 Pro League and two below the A-League, the PDL provides the opportunity for collegiate players to further develop their game during the summer months and maintain their collegiate eligibility. The PDL is recognized by US Soccer as a Division IV amateur league.

Current Commissioner Francisco Marcos founded USL in 1986 as a five-team indoor league. USL has since expanded to 127 teams in four adult outdoor leagues (A-League, D3, PDL, W-League) covering 37 states and three Canadian provinces. The PDL has 44 teams in three conferences.