Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Sounders Women announce first seven players for 2017 WPSL season
The Sounders Women have loaded up on talent as they prepare for the 2017 WPSL season. Head Coach Kim Calkins has searched far and wide to bring in a stellar group with returning Sounders Women players, new players chasing the highest level, and local players plying their trade regionally and nationally in the United States. The 2016 WPSL Northwest Division Champions, the Sounders Women will look to defend their title in 2017 and work past the West Regional.
Madison Schultz, star forward from the University of North Carolina and local soccer star, signs on again for another season with the Sounders Women. Schultz, a veteran of the United States youth national teams, Northwest Nationals, Crossfire, Washington EPD, and Edmond-Woodway high school soccer programs will look to score goals again this summer for the Sounders Women.
“I’m so excited to begin competing again with such a strong group of girls, especially from Washington state,” said Schultz.
Returning for the Sounders Women is University of Washington defender, Dominique Bond-Flasza. The junior stalwart started all 20 matches for the Dawgs in 2016.
“I am looking forward to improving as a player individually. I really enjoyed the combination of high intensity and fun the Sounders Women practices incorporated. Sounders always manages to bring in the top-level players from other schools which fosters an environment for players to excel,” explained Bond Flasza.
Kaycie Tillman played the 2016 summer for the Sounders Women and will return to terrorize defenses in the WPSL Northwest Division. The 2016 NSCAA Southwest Region 1st Team selection scored 3 goals and registered 5 assists for the Florida State Seminoles this fall while starting 21 of 22 games.
“I’m excited to come back and play with the Sounders Women this summer. I’m looking forward to the training and improving technically every day and also competing with some of the same awesome teammates from last year,” says Tillman.
Kate Bennett, a midfield veteran from the University of Washington and the Seattle Reign, returns for the 2017 season. The leadership Bennett brings to the Sounders Women will be invaluable for another run into the playoffs for Calkins team.
“I am looking forward to meeting new people and playing some quality soccer. I really enjoyed playing with the Sounders last season and I am hoping to continue the success we had last year and make it far in the playoffs,” said Bennett.
Shi’nia Gordon, an All Big 12 Freshman Team selection in 2015 from West Virginia who continued her dominance in 2016, joins the Sounders Women for the campaign. Gordon scored 5 goals and added 3 assists in 2015 then followed that year up with 7 goals and 3 assists in 2016.
“My dream is to play professional soccer after college. I was thrilled to be offered the chance to play with the Seattle Sounders. I am looking forward to the challenge,” said Gordon.
Coming across the state to compete this summer is Kaitlyn Johnson, a forward from Washington State University. Johnson finished her collegiate career as an All Pac 12 2nd team selection with 3 goals and 6 assists. Johnson set a WSU record with 4 assists in a 5-0 win against North Dakota State this year.
“I'm excited to play in Seattle, five hours from the college I attended. I am also excited to gain a different perspective and experience in the sport and play alongside other college players where we can develop each other into better people and players,” said Johnson.
Rounding out the initial group of signings is local standout Sam Hiatt. The Stanford star is currently part of the United States U23 national team pool.
“It will be great to be back home in the northwest. I’m excited to join a really good team, and I am also looking forward to playing for Kim Calkins and Tim Reynolds,” says Hiatt.
For nearly two decades, the Sounders Women have helped produce player in the professional leagues and the national team programs. The 2017 season looks to mirror the past with a talent laden squad. The ladies in green kick off the 2017 season against Vancouver NSGSC in Vancouver, Canada on May 27th, returning for the home opener on June 2nd against the Issaquah Gunners. The complete schedule and tickets are available at www.sounderswomen.com. Come check out the future!
Sounders U23/Sounders Women
The Sounders U23 and Sounders Women teams are owned and operated by owners Lane Smith, Cliff McElroy, and Mike Jennings.
The Sounders U23 play in the Northwest Division of the Premier Development League (PDL) and the Sounders Women play in the WPSL. Featuring current college age amateur players with former international and professional stars, both the PDL and the WPSL provide elite amateurs the opportunity to compete while maintaining their eligibility as college student-athletes. Both the PDL and the WPSL are recognized throughout the world for providing superior competition for players, while offering affordable family entertainment for fans throughout North America. The Sounders U23 team is the direct PDL affiliate to the Sounders FC first team and USL S2 team.
Sounders U23/Sounders Women VP/GM: Darren Sawatzky (Darrens@SoundersU23.com)