The Sounders FC U16 and U18 teams clinched berths in the USSDA playoffs by going 2-0-0 and 1-1-0 over the weekend, respectively.
The graduation-weakened U18s started the weekend with a 3-2 loss to Cal Odyssey before bouncing back with a 1-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes to clinch a playoff spot.
With eight players staying home to participate in their high school graduation ceremonies, the U18s looked to their depth on the weekend road trip. Jamael Cox came up big with a goal and two assists on the weekend while Andrew Glaeser proved his value in goal with a shutout on Sunday.
Darwin Jones got the U18s out to a 1-0 lead in the 40th minute off an assist by Cox against Cal Odyssey on Saturday, but then things picked up in the second half. Odyssey evened it up in the 57th minute and Seattle had a chance to reclaim the lead in the 61st minute when they earned a penalty. However Troy Peterson could not convert and the Odyssey pounced with two goals before Seattle could recover.
The home side took a 2-1 lead in the 65th minute, and one minute later Glaeser kept the game within reach with a huge save. However, the momentum was short-lived as Odyssey took a commanding 3-1 lead in the 75th minute.
Yordan Rivera pulled one back in the 85th minute off an assist by Cox, but the Sounders couldn’t find the equalizer and fell 3-2.
Sunday was a different story, though, as they took on the San Jose Earthquakes U18s.
Glaeser came up big on three occasions to keep San Jose out of the net and Dominique Dismuke set up Cox for the games only goal in the 37th minute as the Sounders U18s improved to 8-2-1 in the division and 15-5-4 overall.
On the U16 side, they took control of their first match against Odyssey from the early-going and never looked back. Jesse Klug highlighted the weekend with two goals and two assists as the Sounders topped the Odyssey 4-1 and the Earthquakes 3-2 to clinch the division title and a playoff berth.
Klug set up Ike Crook in the 10th minute against Cal Odyssey, then Klug added another off an assist from Jeff Collings in the 20th minute for an early 2-0 lead. Odyssey pulled one back in the 30th minute, but Austin Sweeney scored in the 40th minute to put the Sounders back in command with a 3-1 lead. Klug iced the game in the 46th minute with Pelogi picking up the assists on the last two goals.
Against San Jose, it was another strong early performance that gave the Sounders the edge.
Klug set up Sephan Bangsund in the 5th minute and Bangsund returned the favor, assisting Klug’s 11th minute goal to give Seattle the 2-0 lead. San Jose battled back though, scoring in the 38th minute and the 50th minute to tie it up.
Not to be outdone, Michael Gallagher scored off an assist from Sweeney in the 77th minute and Seattle held on for the 3-2 win to improve to 7-2-2 in the division and 17-3-4 overall.
The two squads will finish off their season at Starfire on Saturday against the California Development Academy before the playoffs start. The U18s kickoff at noon, with the U16s finishing up their regular season with a 2:30 start time.