At long last, and as expected, Darwin Jones signed a HGP player contract with the Seattle Sounders. Jones signed an off-the-books HGP contract, the type of contract formerly held by risen star DeAndre Yedlin.
Yedlin made it cool to be an HGP. He brought a real cachet to the status and MLS clubs have since learned that HGPs are the blue chip prospects of MLS. As much as college football players want to be “first round draft picks”, young American soccer players want to become HGPs.
Jones had previously announced his intention to sign as an HGP with Seattle. Jones is a local boy from Des Moines, WA who previously played for the University of Washington. Despite his desire to sign with the Sounders, he was off-limits before the Huskies lost to Michigan State on penalty kicks in the second round of the NCCA Men’s Soccer Tournament on November 30th. Jones had 8 goals and 4 assist in 14 regular season games and added an assist off the bench against MSU. Jones’s signing is another example of the rich getting richer.
Seattle has a tremendous ability to sign and develop players. It is impressive that the Sounders have let the likes of Fredie Montero and DeAndre Yedlin transfer while reloading with Sean Okoli, Aaron Kovar, Darwin Jones and (hopefully) Jordan Morris. The talent-rich Puget Sound and excellent teaching by assistant coaches and the academy should keep Seattle’s farm system fecund and boisterous.