Academies Start Unbeaten
Posted by: Matt Gaschk
The Sounders FC U16 Academy team started off their first season with two wins over clubs from San Diego, while the U18 team fought out two draws to keep the Academy unbeaten after their first weekend of play.
The Sounders FC Academy finished off an incredibly successful opening weekend with both teams going unbeaten in their four total matches. The U18 team drew their matches with San Diego Nomads on Saturday and San Diego Surf on Sunday. Meanwhile, the U16 squad posted victories over their opponents from the same clubs at Starfire.
Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid, owner/GM Adrian Hanuaer, technical director Chris Henderson and goalkeeper coach Tom Dutra were all in attendance for the final match of the weekend as the Sounders FC U16s outlasted Surf with a 3-1 victory. With some members of the Emerald City Supporters banging their drums and chanting through much of the game, it truly had a professional atmosphere at Starfire Stadium.
Three of the matches goals came via the penalty kick, but the final score was indicative of the play on the field.
Seattle got out to an early lead when a Surf handball awarded Jordan Schweitzer a penalty kick. The midfielder converted and the Sounders FC held a 1-0 lead in the 22nd minute.
After a soft foul in the box, Surf were also awarded a penalty kick in the 47th minute. They scored on the PK and tied it up at 1-1.
In the 70th minute, Michael Steele gave the Sounders FC the lead for good with a crafty goal, lifting his shot over the Surf goalkeeper for the 2-1 lead. Stefan Bangsund scored on a penalty in the 76th minute to add insurance and give the Sounders a 3-1 victory.
The win came after a 2-1 win on Saturday over San Diego Nomads. Ian Lange and Ike Crook scored in that match to give the Sounders a come-from-behind win.
Meanwhile, the U18 side is still looking for their first win after two draws on the weekend. Sunday certainly didn’t lack for drama as a Seattle was issued two red cards, but still managed to fight back to earn a draw with a late-game goal by Sean Okoli.
Surf got out to the lead in the 9th minute on a miscue off a corner that wound up in the net for a 1-0 lead. They took advantage of a scramble in front of the net in the 32nd minute when Seattle failed to clear the ball out of their box and it found its way into the net for a 2-0 lead before Seattle could get their first goal in two matches.
Okoli took care of that before the halftime whistle, slamming home a shot from 15 yards out to make it 2-1 in the 42nd minute.
Playing two men down, Seattle earned an 88th minute penalty off of a handball in the box. Okoli stepped to the ball calmly and slotted it home for his second goal of the day to preserve the draw.
The U18s played to a scoreless draw on Saturday with Nomads, getting a shutout from goalkeeper Ryan Herman.
“This was a great way to start the Academy season,” Sounders FC Director of Youth Development Darren Sawatzky said.