2004 Apr 28

From today's Sounders news release:

Sounders re-sign young defender, Sakuda ready for second season in Seattle

(Seattle, Wash.) - - The Seattle Sounders have re-signed young defender Kevin Sakuda for the 2004 season. Coming off his second indoor season with the San Diego Sockers of the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL), Sakuda is ready for his second professional outdoor season with the Sounders.

The California native played 1,307 minutes in 21 matches for the Sounders in 2003, scoring a goal against El Paso on June 28th.

"Kevin Sakuda's return complements the 'new look' Sounders," said Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer. "Younger, deeper and eager to play games that could push their play to the next level."

"Kevin responds well to coaching," said Schmetzer. "I expect him to challenge for a starting role this year, along with providing excellent minutes coming off the bench in defensive situations."

This past indoor season with the Sockers of the MISL, Sakuda played 34 matches as a defender notching six assists, 15 shots and 38 fouls. The Sockers ended their season with a record of 13-23.

The 6-0 defender was drafted by the Major League Soccer San Jose Earthquakes in 2002 after a successful collegiate career at Duke University. Starting 81 consecutive matches, Sakuda led the Blue Devils to an ACC Title in 1999 and three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. He was an All-ACC Second Team selection his senior year, and a first team NSCAA All-South Region selection in 1999. Sakuda was named to the Soccer News All-Freshman Team and the ACC All-Tournament Team in 1998.

Highlights of Sakuda's career prior to Duke include: being a member of the California State ODP team from 1995-98, a member of California's Under-19 State Champions in 1997, four-year All-League player for Mission San Jose High School and a member of the U-20 National team.

While at Duke, Sakuda played against current Sounders teammate Danny Jackson who played for the University of North Carolina, and also attended the same high school as Sounder Ryan Edwards.

Sakuda is in camp and will be ready for the Sounders season opener on May 1st against the Portland Timbers. Sakuda played in a few of the Sounders preseason matches this year, but his official contract was just approved by the league.

Picture: Kevin Sakuda called for a foul on Landon Donovan of the MLS San Jose Earthquakes during a U.S. Open Cup match in July 2003. Sounders would win 1-0.

The Sounders home opener is on May 8th versus the expansion Edmonton Aviators. Tickets are still available for the 7pm match at Seahawks Stadium. For ticket information please call 206.622.3415.

For more information about the San Diego Sockers or the MISL please visit www.sockers.com. For more information about the home opener or Sakuda's second year with the Sounders please call 206.622.3415 or visit www.seattlesounders.net.