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Youth Boys Jun 23, 2016

Seattle Sounders add Central California Aztecs as youth club partner

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SEATTLE, WASH. (Via Seattle Sounders FC) – Seattle Sounders FC today announced its latest youth agreement with Central California Aztecs (CCA).

The Bakersfield-based club serves a sprawling area in Central California as a premier youth development destination, and joins North Carolina’s Twin City Youth Soccer Association as Sounders FC’s two out-of-state agreements. With CCA as a youth affiliate, Sounders FC is providing coaching education opportunities, a unique, integrated curriculum and a direct pipeline for players into Sounders FC Academy. Currently, CCA features 45 teams, including a competitive academy program from the U-12 level through U-18. The Aztecs cover a region stretching from Lancaster to Bakersfield to Fresno – a driving distance radius of two hours.

central-california-aztecs“Our goal is to have one of the preeminent youth soccer academies in the country,” said Sounders FC General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey. “Central California is rich with talent, and we are confident this region, along with the structure in place at CCA, will be beneficial for our club.”

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CCA becomes an adidas-branded club, but is keeping its colors of black and red. Additionally, CCA establishes itself as part of Sounders FC’s organization, despite its closer proximity to many MLS teams.

“We were approached by multiple MLS clubs, but the trust was there with Seattle,” said Vice President of Soccer Operations Ray Sanders. “Ultimately, Seattle provided more resources, while allowing us to maintain our identity and create a genuine working relationship. We are very excited to be part of the Sounders family. Seattle is in a class of its own.”

“Expanding into the Central California region will strengthen our youth structure,” Sounders FC Academy Director Marc Nicholls said. “We’ve been looking for the right opportunities to continue to grow outside of the Pacific Northwest, and we are excited to bring CCA into the fold. We have been very impressed by their player pool and staff.”

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