By Liviu Bird
SEATTLE — Seattle Sounders FC Academy product Darwin Jones, who has three years of college eligibility remaining, will not play with University of Washington this year. Washington head coach Jamie Clark confirmed after his team’s 2-0 win over Cal Poly on Sunday that Jones was not admitted into the school.
“He did a lot of hard work to get himself eligible, and it turns out, at this moment in time, he’s not going to be able to get into school,” Clark said. “It’s not due to grades or anything; it’s just that it doesn’t work out in terms of a degree.”
Essentially, Jones needed his associate of arts transfer degree to transfer cleanly, but he did not have it after spending just one academic year at Highline Community College in Des Moines, Wash.
“He thought he’d done everything, and we thought he’d done everything,” Clark said. “We’d love to get him here. We’ll see if that ends up transpiring.”
In Washington, a Direct Transfer Agreement allows community college students who complete their Associate of Arts degree to matriculate at any four-year school in the state. The Associate of Arts is 90 credits, and it usually takes two years to complete.
Jones played for Highline in 2011, scoring 15 goals and adding seven assists. He was his team’s leading scorer and the fifth-highest scorer in the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges.
He trained with the Sounders FC first team in preseason of this year, but he did not sign a contract. Jones won the 30-meter dash competition at training camp (current Husky senior forward Abdul Aman, selected in the 2012 Supplemental Draft, finished third).
Jones has been training with the Sounders again recently, and he played for the club’s under-23 team in the Premier Development League, generating speculation that he may sign as the club’s first Homegrown Player.
“What happens next is anyone’s guess,” Clark said. “There’s a thousand rumors, and all I would be doing is adding to them.”
For now, one thing is certain: Jones will not wear the purple and gold this season or even train with the team, as he is not enrolled at the university.
Editor’s note: The reporter of this story, Liviu Bird, went to Highline Community College and played soccer there, transferring to Seattle Pacific University to finish his college degree and soccer career.