With all of the success that DeAndre Yedlin has had through the first 10 games of his MLS career, there is a question that consistently arises surrounding the Sounders FC youth development program.
While the Sounders may be a while away from signing another Homegrown talent, it’s not because the Academy system isn’t rich with talent climbing through the ranks.
Two of those players, Jordan Morris and Jalen Markey, are making waves on the international stage, with both being called in to U.S. Youth camps this week in Europe.
Both players play with the Sounders FC U-18 team, but Markey is with the U.S. U-18 team in Portugal while Morris was called in to the U-20 team in France.
Morris, who is the only current Academy player from any team on the U-20 roster for the Toulon Tournament in France, has enjoyed a meteoric rise in recent months. Though he frequently played as a centermid during his youth career, he has moved to forward and exceled, scoring 24 goals in 24 matches for the Sounders FC U-18 squad and is now in his second camp with the U.S. U-20 National Team.
“He’s as fast and powerful as any kid in his age group in the country. He’s arguably the most powerful 18-year-old I’ve ever seen come out of Washington,” said Sounders FC director of youth development Darren Sawatzky. “He’s powerful, but he’s an incredible goal-scorer. He has a knack for goal and when you find that, you have to give him a chance. At whatever level he plays at, that kid’s going to do well.”
The Toulon Tournament runs from May 28-June 8 in Toulon, France, and serves as a tune-up for the FIFA U-20 World Cup beginning June 21 in Turkey.
Markey, meanwhile, is with the U.S. U-18 National Team in Portugal playing in the 19th Annual International Juniors Tournament. That tournament started on Tuesday with a 3-0 US win over the Czech Republic and runs through Saturday. On Thursday, they face Portugal before finishing the tournament against Hungary.
Coming off of an injury, Markey has been limited in his action with the Sounders FC U-18 team, playing in just eight matches and starting just twice this year. However, he has been a fixture at the U.S. Youth level and that continues with his call to the tournament in Lisbon.
“He’s been there before and the coaches are very familiar with him. He’s getting another great opportunity and we’re very happy for him,” Sawatzky said. “It’s icing on the cake for his hard work.”
As with the U-20 tournament, the U-18 tournament serves as a tune-up for the 2013 Milk Cup in Northern Ireland from July 28-August 2.