CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Former Virginia men’s soccer standout Will Bates has signed a contract with Seattle Sounders FC, the club announced today. Per Major League Soccer and club policy, terms were not disclosed.
Bates, 22, was selected by Sounders FC on January 22 with the fifth overall selection in the 2013 MLS Supplemental Draft. He joined Sounders FC training in early February.
“Will is dangerous in the box and always plays hard,” said Sounders FC Sporting Director Chris Henderson. “He can score with both feet and with his head. He provides us with depth at forward and we are excited to have him in Seattle.”
The Chester, Va., native appeared in 77 matches over four seasons at Virginia, tallying 46 goals with 10 assists. He finished his collegiate career as the seventh-leading goal scorer in school history, tied for third with 15 game-winning goals and finished ninth in career points (102). Bates was a member of the U.S. U-20 National Team and he was named to the 2012 MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List.
Bates was named First-Team All-ACC for the second straight season in 2012 after scoring a dozen goals and totaling 25 points; he also was a second-team honoree as a freshman in 2009. While serving as the lone senior on the young Cavaliers’ team in 2012, he ranked second in the ACC in goals and third in the conference in points.
Four of Bates’ 12 scores in 2012 were game winners (Duke, Mount St. Mary’s, High Point, Lafayette). The forward played in 20 of the Cavaliers’ matches, with 17 consecutive starts, after returning from a knee injury suffered late in the 2011 season.
Bates becomes the 44th former Cavalier to move on to play in MLS. UVa ranks second to UCLA in producing the most MLS players all-time.