Defense leads way for Academy wins

Defense leads way for Academy wins

Strong form produces three shutout victories against divisional opponents, San Jose Earthquakes and Cal Odyssey.

TUKWILA, WASH. — The U18’s split and the U16’s swept at home over the weekend as Sounders FC Academy hosted divisional opponents San Jose Earthquakes and Cal Odyssey at Starfire Sports Complex. After a loss to San Jose on Saturday, the U18’s responded with a 2-0 win over Odyssey Sunday thanks to goals from Aaron Kovar and Jacob Beck. A goal and an assist from David Olsen (pictured) highlighted a 5-0 win for the U16’s over the Earthquakes on Saturday, and a Michael Steele brace led them to a 3-0 win Sunday. Sounders FC Academy produced three clean sheets and outscored their opponents 10-2 over the four games.

The U18 Sounders (9-10-3, 7-5-1, 22 points NW Division) outshot the Earthquakes 17-13 Saturday morning, but were unable finish any chances in a 2-0 shutout loss. On Sunday, they responded with a dominating 2-0 win over Cal Odyssey thanks to goals from Kovar and Beck and a shutout from Keenan Townsend.

The win snapped a three-match losing streak and helped Seattle earn an important three points to stay tied for first place in the NW Division with DeAnza Force.

The U16’s (15-5-2, 10-2-1, 31 points NW Division) didn’t allow a goal all weekend as they increased their commanding lead in the NW Division, now nine points ahead of second place Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Goals from Duncan McCormick, Isidro Prado-Huerta, Olsen, Cody Crook, and Denis Kalamar fueled the 5-0 win over San Jose on Saturday. On Sunday, Kalamar made it 1-0 early on before Michael Steele netted a brace in a 3-0 downing of Cal Odyssey. Conor Adkisson earned the shutout Saturday and Trevor Larson kept a clean sheet on Sunday.

The win gets the U16’s back on track after losing twice on the road in late March. Despite those two losses, the U16’s have won 14 of their last 17 matches.

Next up for Sounders FC Academy is a pair of home matches on May 12-13 against Southern California opponents LA Galaxy and Chivas USA. Galaxy and Chivas currently hold the top two spots in the U18 SoCal Division, while the U16’s are second and third, respectively. The games are the last at home of the season for Seattle, with only the June 3 season finale against the Whitecaps in Vancouver remains after.

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