9/6/2017 1:14:00 PM Rising author chronicles Resurgence of Seattle Sounders
While growing up in La Conner, John Agen had a passion for football. His son’s game plan was slightly different. It veered to futbol. Steven Agen began getting his kicks as a 12-year-old die-hard Seattle Sounders fan. Now, almost a decade later, he has established a strong foothold in the Pacific Northwest’s soccer media industry. Pretty impressive, no matter how you spell it. “He’s just a junior at the University of Washington,” says John, a polished pocket passer during his days at La Conner High, “and he’s already written a book and owns his own business.” Steven was on the receiving end of his dad’s prowess in both athletics and academics. He has continued the family’s UW tradition – he’s an Economics major at Montlake – after having taken Ballard High advanced placement courses and posted nearly off-the-charts ACT scores. While still a Ballard student, Steven launched Radio Cascadia, the lone podcast covering the Sounders, Portland Timbers, and Vancouver Whitecaps. He remains a co-owner and president of the venture. He is also well known for extensive coverage and commentary in Prost Amerika, a major soccer web magazine. In those dual roles, the 21-year-old has already worked some of the most storied press boxes in America – Soldier Field in Chicago, for one – while rubbing elbows with elite soccer scribes from around the world. Steven’s style is crisp, his insight keen. His approach, often bold. He is famous in Seattle for having quoted use of the f-word (it being neither football nor futbol) by Sounders majority owner Adrian Hanauer. Now Steven is garnering further notice – and rave reviews – for being the lead author of “Resurgence,” a candid portrait of the Sounders’ amazing worst-to-first run to the 2016 Major League Soccer (MLS) championship. In addition to his own articles, Steven compiled written accounts and photographs submitted by over two dozen other contributors to the slick, glossy 152-page volume, the fourth release to date from Prost Publishing, a division of Prost Amerika. Those contributors represent a virtual Who’s Who on the Seattle scene, from former Mayor Greg Nickels and longtime sports columnist Art Thiel to ex-Seattle Times soccer beat writer Matt Pentz and “Mr. Sounder” Zach Scott. Steven managed to seamlessly thread their features and photos into a fluid review of the Sounders’ amazing title season, one that saw the club rebound from a disappointing start that led to the firing of Hall of Fame coach Sig Schmid to its improbable MLS Cup victory in Toronto. The chapter on the mid-season dismissal of Schmid, who had first gained fame for having guided UCLA to multiple collegiate crowns – written by Prost Amerika and Prost Publishing founder Steve Clare – is especially poignant. The book, the first to cover the Sounders’ championship year, went on pre-sale in Seattle at the end of August. Steven signed copies of the initial 2,000-print run during a downtown event at The Triple Door. Award-winning Seattle Times correspondent Geoff Baker, who formerly covered the Mariners for the paper and now specializes in sports finance and investigative pieces, devoted two columns recently to Steven’s Sounders anthology. Given his youth and level of success thus far, “Resurgence” likely represents but an early chapter for Steven, whom Clare includes when listing the cream of Seattle soccer journalists. For his part, Steven prefers talking – and writing – more about the Sounders than himself. And thanks to a loyal base of listeners and readers he can do so pretty much on a daily basis. Resurgence: How Sounders FC Roared Back to Win MLS Cup is now available for purchase via Prost Publishing, prostamerika.com, and the University Bookstore (@ubookstoreSeattle, and can also be borrowed from Seattle Public Libraries.