Photo courtesy Em-Dash Photography / Louisville City FC
SEATTLE – Seattle Sounders FC 2 announced on Wednesday that it had signed veteran forward David Estrada. The 30-year-old returns to the club after spending over four seasons with Sounders FC from 2010-2014, where he tallied 41 appearances and five goals in Major League Soccer.
“David is an experienced pro that we think can bring great value to our young players from both a playing and coaching aspect, which is why we brought him on in this dual role,” said Sounders FC Director of Player Development Marc Nicholls. “We are looking forward to seeing what expertise he can bring to S2 as well as our development pipeline as a whole.”
Estrada was selected by Sounders FC in the First Round (11th overall) of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft out of UCLA, where he went from walk-on to multiple All-Pac-12 performer. He spent a little over four seasons with the club, including a career-best year in 2012 where he started 12 of 17 appearances and finished third in the club with five goals. The speedy attacker became the third player in club history to record a hat trick when he scored three goals against Toronto FC in the 2012 season opener at CenturyLink Field.
“Ever since David began training with us, he’s had a lot to offer to the younger players on our squad playing around him,” said S2 Head Coach John Hutchinson. “It will be great to have a guy like him around to not only help our team on the field, but also provide another experienced voice to assist Wade Webber and me working with our players.”
Estrada played the 2014 season with D.C. United, where he recorded two assists in nine appearances before spending the next three seasons in USL for Sacramento Republic FC, Orange County SC and Charlotte Independence. The Salinas, California native most recently spent the 2016 and 2017 campaigns with Charlotte, where he scored 11 goals in 61 USL appearances.
HOUNDS ADD D-II PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC announced it had signed 2017 NCAA Division II Player of the Year Thomas Vancaeyezeele to a one-year contract with a club option for the 2019 season, pending league and federation approval.
Coming to the club on trial during the fourth week of training camp, Vancaeyezeele has made two preseason appearances for the Hounds, notably providing a key assist on Romeo Parkes' eventual game-winning goal against Penn FC this past weekend.
“Thomas’ biggest strength is his tactical awareness,” Riverhounds SC Head Coach Bob Lilley said. “For a young player, he reads the game well, makes good decisions and is technically very competent.”
Starring at defender for the Golden Eagles, Vancaeyezeele captained Charleston to its first national championship in school history in 2017. He started all 24 of his games played and recorded four goals and two assists on his way to National Player of the Year honors.
SCKUNDRICH SIGNS WITH STEEL FC: Bethlehem Steel FC announced the club had signed former Philadelphia Union Academy midfielder Drew Sckundrich to his first professional contract. The move is pending league and federation approval.
“It’s an awesome feeling signing your first professional contract and getting to come back to the organization and see Jim Curtin and Brendan Burke that I’m familiar with and welcome me into the club and this great organization,” Skundrich said. “It was a great feeling to finally write my name on paper to do what I love for a living. It’s been a long journey and it’s a dream come true for me.”
Skundrich joins Steel FC after being selected in the second round of the 2018 MLS SuperDraft by the LA Galaxy. The 22-year-old midfielder brings a wealth of winning experience having been part of Stanford University’s three-consecutive NCAA Championships from 2015-17, serving as co-captain for the Cardinal in his junior and senior seasons. Skundrich netted nine goals and added 13 assists in 82 appearances over his Cardinal career and earned All-Pac 12 First Team honors after scoring five goals and registering five assists last fall.
“We’re lucky to be able to add a young player in Drew who is versatile and who has proved over and over throughout his college career that he is a leader by example and tireless worker,” Steel FC Head Coach Brendan Burke said. “He has been on our radar since his academy days when Jim and I first came across him with PA Classics and in training with our academy. I’m excited to start getting to work with Drew again.”
GALAXY II ADD GOALKEEPER: The LA Galaxy II announced the club had signed goalkeeper Wade Hamilton, as the native of Murrieta, Calif., joins Los Dos after two seasons in the USL with the Portland Timbers 2.
“Wade is a goalkeeper that instantly makes our goalkeeping player pool in this club better,” said LA Galaxy II Head Coach Mike Muñoz. “He is the right profile for our club at this position and we see him competing for a starting role immediately with our other talented goalkeepers. Being able to bring in a local guy is an added bonus and we know Wade will do well here.”
Hamilton was drafted by the Portland Timbers in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft and made his debut for the team on June 29, 2016 in a 1-0 U.S. Open Cup loss to LA Galaxy. In two seasons of action with Portland Timbers 2, Hamilton made 22 appearances.
A former standout at Cal Poly, Hamilton was twice named Big West Goalkeeper of the Year, earning First Team All-Big West Conference in his senior season.