1999 February 11

From the Sounders news release:


The Seattle Sounders have reached a player affiliation agreement with the Seattle Sounders Selects (reserve team). The Sounders Selects were formerly the Seattle BigFoot. The affiliation agreement allows for the transfer of players between the two teams for matches and practices. The agreement will also allow the Sounders Selects to practice once a week with the Sounders and will include several exhibition matches between the two teams.

"Our ability to reach an agreement with the Sounders Selects reserve team was something that was important to us," said Sounders General Manager Brad Kimura. "This is another way the Sounders are trying to reach out to the Washington State soccer community. We have a commitment to develop Washington talent and hopefully we're on our way to doing that. We are definitely looking forward to this partnership."

"I'm delighted with the new arrangement," said Paul Hurme, Head Coach of the Seattle Sounders Selects. "Having Seattle Sounders players on a regular basis for training and games will strengthen our team and will provide the fans with a glimpse of tomorrow's stars."

Both teams will maintain their current ownership. The Seattle Sounders are owned by Scott Oki, Neil Farnsworth and Tor Taylor. The Sounders Selects are owned by Bill Hurme. The two teams play in different divisions in the United Soccer Leagues (USL). The Sounders are in the A-League (Division II) and the Sounders Selects are in the Premier Development League (PDL, Division IV).

The USL was founded in 1986 by Commissioner Francisco Marcos as a five-team indoor league in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. The league has since expanded to 139 teams in four adult outdoor leagues covering 41 states.

"The closer affiliation makes good soccer sense," says Marcos. "Milwaukee (Rampage) and Vancouver (86ers) have similar arrangements. The mission of the USL has always been to provide a platform for developing players."

The Sounders and Sounders Selects will play in an exhibition match on March 28 at 5:00 PM at Renton Memorial Stadium. The game is sponsored by the Greater Renton Junior Soccer Association.