The Seattle Sounders Wednesday signed 17-year-old forward Victor Mansaray to a Homegrown Player contract. Mansaray, a native of Sierra Leone who lived for a time in Jamaica, is the fourth homegrown signing in franchise history, is not eligible to play for the club until the 2015 season.
“Victor has been a huge presence in the Academy the last few seasons and we are excited to see him develop further within the organization,” said general manager Adrian Hanauer in a press release. “He is a high-quality player with tremendous potential that embodies the standard of our Academy system to produce pro-level athletes.”
As a homegrown (he lives in Fife), Mansaray joins DeAndre Yedlin (2013) and Sean Okoli and Aaron Kovar, both of whom signed in 2014.
“I think the time was right for me to take the next step and it’s a dream come true for me to sign with Sounders FC,” said Mansaray. “I’m surrounded by the right people and I’m looking forward to working hard and getting better. That’s why I’m here.”
In his second season with the Sounders FC U-16s, Mansaray scored a team-high 18 goals in helping the team reach the USSDA playoffs for a second straight season.
He entered the academy midway through the 2012-2013 season and finished with 11 goals in 20 matches, although he made 11 starts. In eight matches this season for the U-18s, Mansaray scored four goals and has regularly worn the captain’s armband.
“We are confident in his ability to become a standout pro,” said Sounders sporting director Chris Henderson. “He has all the tools to succeed and his time with the Academy and the U-18 National Team prepared him well. We are excited to continue his development.”
Mansaray helped the U.S. U-18 National Team to a 3-0-0 tournament victory in the Czech Republic in August. He made two appearances and logged 106 minutes, including time in a 3-1 win over Hungary in the opener and a 1-0 win over Ukraine in the final.
The Sounders, meanwhile, play the second leg of their two-game Western Conference semifinal playoff series with FC Dallas at 7:30 p.m. Monday at CenturyLink Field.