Less than one week after Sounders FC fans watched DeAndre Yedlin tearing up the pitch in the Round of 16 in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, they will have the chance to see the next generation of Sounders FC Academy standouts when Seattle’s U-18 team takes on the Montreal Impact in the quarterfinals of the USSDA National Tournament on Monday at Starfire Stadium.
Led by Head Coach Dick McCormick, the U-18s earned a berth in the quarterfinals after blanking Concorde Fire, 9-0, and Indiana Fire Academy, 4-0, before finally conceding a goal in a 3-1 win over Real Salt Lake Arizona in last week’s National Tournament.
“Things went pretty well. I knew they were rolling and that players were going to score goals,” McCormick said. “We got ahead early in the first two games and it just kept going on those two teams. In the Real Salt Lake game, we got behind, but we were calm and kept fighting back and we had all the answers at the end of the day."
Adeseyi Adekoya led all scorers with five goals, while David Olsen added three, and Satoshi Chaffin and Joseph Hafferty had two goals each, along with four others who notched one goal.
Even still, McCormick knows the U-18s still have more to give.
“Nobody was absolutely brilliant and to be honest I don’t think we played our best soccer very often, but we were still a lot better than the teams we played and that was a lot of fun,” McCormick said.
The match on Monday will not only be a chance for the U-18s to earn a berth in the semifinals, but the opportunity to do so in front of Sounders FC coaching staff and fans at Starfire.
Many players on the U-18 team have trained with the Sounders FC first team and some have even appeared with the Reserve League team as guest players when the need has arisen. That has included matches at Providence Park against the Portland Timbers reserves and in Orlando against Orlando City SC, providing some opportunities to play with pro players in competitive environments.
That experience could help guide them in a difficult match against Montreal, the winner advancing to the national semifinals in California.
“It’s a great opportunity for them to show the first team coaches what they can do. It’s the future of our club and hopefully a future star on the Sounders,” Sounders FC Sporting Director Chris Henderson said. “The chance for our group to be in the final four down in LA is great for the kids coming through. I think this group is a really good team all the way through. They have solid players and it’s something that we’re watching really closely.”
Kickoff for Monday’s match is scheduled for 7 pm PT. Admission is free at Starfire Stadium.