Sounders FC Host Seattle Academy Middle School Soccer Student-Athletes

Sounders FC Host Seattle Academy Middle School Soccer Student-Athletes

October 20, 2017 – Last Friday, students had a day off from classes and athletics for mid-term. Middle School soccer teams spent their free time hanging out at the Sounders FC practice at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila. The day was set up by former Sounder forward and current 6th Grade Coordinator, Craig Tomlinson. The outing also included SAAS faculty and coaches Mike Bernier, Zac Dykan, and George Alvarado-Salinas ‘16.

During this extraordinary opportunity, students got to kick around the ball in small-group activities, see the first team practice, and meet and greet players. Watching the Sounders practice, our young student-athletes saw flashes of art and amazing athleticism and skills displayed. The Middle Schoolers also had the opportunity  to watch Sounders FC coaches, including head coach Brian Schmetzer, prep the team through an intense session as they prepared for their push to qualify for the Major League Soccer Cup Playoffs. Then they were greeted by some of their idols, getting autographs from Sounder players including Clint Dempsey, Roman Torres, Nicolas Lodeiro, Stefan Frei, Cristian Roldan, and Jordan Morris.

What have been the benefits of seeing the Sounders FC training session?

“It was cool to see how my SAAS team and Club team compared… because you see that the Sounders players were working hard in a fast moving high tempo session (one touch and quick decision making), and when you look back at it then you can bring the stuff that you learned from seeing them and try to put it into your practice. It was super fun getting a bunch of autographs from the Sounder players. It was also cool to compare what you see on TV, where they don’t really look that big, to what you see in person. When the first Sounder (Roman Torres) came up to sign an autograph, he was like 7 foot or something like that. It was very cool to see them in real life, and it was just a really fun experience.” Alex McCleery Brown, 6th Grade

What have you enjoyed the most meeting the Sounders FC players?

“What a great memory for us. Zoe (Bishop ‘22) loves to play soccer for SAAS and for Seattle United. We have been long-time Sounders ticket holders as well. With that in mind, when we went to the game on Sunday, it took on a different meaning for both Zoe and I knowing we had just been up close with the team just two days earlier.” Julie Bishop, SAAS parent

Mike Bernier, Middle School PE teacher, soccer coach, and long-time Sounders fan, said, “It’s that experience that really changes my perspective on the team as a fan. I saw them play Sunday night against FC Dallas (on TV), after having been up close and personal at their training and actually meeting some of the players. They really work their tails off at practice at this really challenging and amazingly difficult profession. After seeing all the preparation they do and then see them playing on the field, I was much more compassionate about their performances.

Rob Phillips Associate Head of School and 7th Grade Parent, summariz3ed the day’s events by noting, “They’re going to remember this for the rest of their lives.”


Above: Sounder Jordan Morris signing autographs for SAAS Middle School students.