TUKWILA, Wash. - If the opening 15 seconds were any indication, the Sounders FC Academy match with Vancouver Whitecaps Residency would be filled with action and explosions.
Nobody would have guessed that it would take nearly 60 minutes for either team to score. Especially with the final score – a 4-3 win for the Sounders FC.
The Sounders pounded the ball forward and managed two shots within the first quarter-minute, but one found the post and the other went wide.
The Whitecaps had a slew of opportunities themselves in the 23rd minute, but were turned away by the sturdy Seattle defense.
However, the two teams went into the half scoreless.
Jesse Klug – playing up from the U16 squad – finally got Seattle on the board in the 57th minute with Jamael Cox getting the assist. Cox raced to the endline and cut the ball back through traffic to Klug for the strike, giving Seattle the 1-0 lead.
That advantage held until the 68th minute when Doudou Toure got to a loose ball at the endline and punched it inside the far post for a goal, evening the tally at 1-1.
Seattle regained the lead in the 75th off the boot of Glen Paden, but Vancouver quickly gained their first lead with goals from Coulton Jackson in the 77th minute and Yasin Essa in the 79th minute.
As the final ten minutes ticked off, Seattle began pressing for the equalizer and another U16 player made his mark in the 85th minute when Michael Steele got some space in the middle of the box and smashed a left-footed volley into the net to equalize at 3-3.
It looked like the two sides might be happy with a draw, but Darwin Jones still had a bit of magic up his sleeves.
Jones sized up a free kick from the edge of the 18 yard box. He stared at the five-man wall separating him from the game-winning score. He then twisted a shot around the wall, bending it just inside another defender standing a few feet off of the wall and froze the goalkeeper in his place, putting the ball inside the right post for the game-winner in the 87th minute.
Seattle held on in the final moments and finished with the 4-3 victory.