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Seattle Sounders FC Announce Partnership with Washington Premier FC for 2009-10 Development Academy Season

CHICAGO (Feb. 5, 2009) -- The Seattle Sounder FC have announced a partnership with Washington Premier FC that will see the first Sounders youth teams participate in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy beginning in the 2010-11 season.

Sounders FC Youth Academy will participate in both the U-15/16 and U-17/18 age groups as those two age groups will transfer from Washington Premier FC. Washington Premier FC will continue to operate the two teams through the end of the 2009-10 season. Currently, the club is in first place in the Northwest Division in the U-17/18 age group.

Seattle Sounders FC began play in Major League Soccer during the 2009 season, reaching the Western Conference Championship game before falling to the Los Angeles Galaxy. Their youth programs will be in line with 11 other teams from MLS who participate in the Development Academy.

Since its launch in the fall of 2007, the Academy has improved the training environment, provided relevant, high-level matches on a consistent basis, increased the level and efficiency of scouting for the national teams and provided players, coaches and referees with structured programming.