(January 2, 2012) - The Sounders FC has gotten in the habit of adding players for their Academy to the list of contributors to the US National Teams youth pools.
On Monday, another name was added to the list as Jalen Markey received his first call to play with the U-18 National Team in their January training camp that runs from January 2-9 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
“That’s a testament to their hard work and the Sounders are very proud of them,” said Sounders FC director of youth development Darren Sawatzky.
Markey is an imposing center back who has helped the Sounders FC U-16s to a 10-2-2 record and has three goals on the young season. He caught the attention of US U-18 coach Richie Williams at the US Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase in Ft. Lauderdale last month. He was named to all-star game, where he played right back and picked up an assist.
Simplicity is the name of the game for Markey, a junior at Seattle’s O’Dea High School.
“I like to keep the ball. I don’t like to hit it long and just clear it for no reason,” he said. “I like to play simple. I think that’s the best way to play.”
That ability to play with the ball at his feet will help the 16-year-old Markey rise through the ranks, according to Sawatzky.
“Jalen is a prototypical center back,” Sawatzky said. “He’s tall, he’s strong and he’s good in the air, but he also has really good feet. That will serve him well. At the national level, you have to be able to play out of that position.”
Markey will join his former O’Dea teammate Yedlin and Todd Beamer High School alum Okoli in Florida.