SEATTLE – Washington men’s soccer will host a special event on Sunday as the Sounders FC will come to Husky Soccer Stadium for a spring friendly. The Dawgs will host the MLS squad at 6 p.m. with $5 admission in cash at the door.
The Husky men are coming off their best season in school history and return a loaded roster that includes six players brought through the Sounders Academy. The Sounders who open Saturday at Century Link Field against Sporting KC are expected to play their reserves who don’t play the day before.
Washington is playing 11 games this spring, but Sunday’s match should be the highlight for players and fans alike. Each of Dom Dismuke, Michael Gallagher, Ryan Herman, Darwin Jones, Ian Lange and Jim Oganga came through the Sounders system and will play against former teammates.
Among those are Sounders newcomers Aaron Kovar and Sean Okoli who came through the academy program and are beginning their professional careers this year.
“We all have great appreciation for the guys who have paved the way for academy program to the first team,” said Lange. “With the atmosphere around Seattle sports there is no other place I would rather play at in the MLS.”
“Playing against the Sounders is the type of games we need to participate in as a competitive program in our off season,” added Lange. “Not only to show what we are capable of, but also to see where we need to improve. I am excited to see all the familiar faces up here at UW, specially my old teammates/friends Aaron and Ugo. We have a lot to prove to these guys and it should be a competitive game.”
In charge of stopping the Sounders in goal will be Herman who took over in goal last season after the injury to Spencer Richey.
“It'll be interesting to play against guys like Ugo and Kovar,” said Herman. “I've played with both of them since U-14 ODP days so it'll be great seeing them adapt to the pro style.”
Dismuke, a freshman, provides a more recent example of a Sounders Academy player that has gone on to UW to hone his craft.
“Playing against the Sounders is a unique experience,” said Dismuke. “We get a chance to play against a team we spent a bit of our youth time with. I've been fortunate enough to suit up for a few reserve games with the Sounders so I'll be going against some guys from the team that I've played with.”
“The ultimate goal for a lot of us is to hopefully wear rave green again for the first team one day so this gives us a better chance to show Coach Sigi Schmidt, Chris Henderson and the rest of the Sounders staff what we can do against professionals and how we've developed since leaving academy.”