Academy Flying High
Posted by: Matt Gaschk
A 3-1 weekend pushed the Sounders FC U18 and U16 teams further up the standings.
The Sounders FC Academies continued their run of success in their first year with a 3-1 weekend that kept both teams atop the West standings of the USSDA.
Playing at home at Starfire, the U18 team got off to a fast start with a 2-0 win over Arsenal FC from southern California, but fell 1-0 on Sunday to Real Salt Lake in just their third loss of the season. The U16s, meanwhile, topped Arsenal 3-1 and got a late goal to outlast Real Salt Lake 2-1. The two-win weekend propelled the Sounders further in front in the standings.
The U18s started strong against Arsenal, with Jamael Cox ringing a long shot off the crossbar in the 2nd minute.
Cox later sent a nice entry ball to Drew White, who scored to give Seattle the 1-0 lead. Darwin Jones added a penalty kick goal to put the Sounders up 2-0 and Ryan Herman stopped Arsenal on 1v1s in the 66th and 85th minutes to preserve the win.
Herman again came up big with some difficult saves against RSL, but a 45th minute goal from the visitors left the Sounders playing from behind in the second half and they were unable to equalize and had to settle for a 1-1-0 weekend.
They are now 11-3-4 on the season.
The U16s carried momentum from their elders’ victory over Arsenal and, like the U18s, had an early opportunity. Miles Rodriguez converted a long-range goal in the 2nd minute on an assist from Jesse Klug for his second goal in as many games.
Jeffrey Collings assisted on a Michael Steele goal in the 30th minute and after an Arsenal goal narrowed the lead, Austin Sweeney put the game away in the 78th minute on a ball from Stefan Bangsund, giving Seattle the 3-1 victory.
On Sunday, a back-and-forth battle with Real Salt Lake needed a late goal from Jordan Thompson to give the Sounders the win.
Steele picked up an assist when he fed Jordan Schweitzer for a goal in the 55th minute, but Salt Lake evened it up in the 70th minute and nearly took the lead, if not for a key save from Keenan Townsend.
That left Klug to send a through ball to Thompson for the game-winning goal to elevate the Sounders U16s to a league-best 13-2-3 record.