TUKWILA, Wash. – The Sounders FC U-18 Academy team was held scoreless just twice the entire 2013-14 season. Unfortunately, the second time came Monday in the USSDA quarterfinals at Starfire Stadium as Seattle fell, 3-0, to the Montreal Impact to end the season just short of the team’s ultimate goal.
“It was an unusual game. I felt like we were the better team and we lost the ball in the midfield too much and they countered on us. We had the better chances in the game and it didn’t work out for us,” Sounders FC Academy Head Coach Dick McCormick said. “Sometimes you lose games. Unfortunately it was today.”
Sounders FC wasted no time putting Montreal under pressure, with two crosses into the box from the right side in the first 90 seconds, the second of which resulted in a shot from Victor Rojas that deflected clear for a corner kick.
After minimal pressure in the early-going, Paul Christensen made a diving stop to parry away a 20-yard shot in the 28th minute, keeping the Impact from sneaking into the lead.
Montreal did break through in the 33rd minute, though. Marco Dominguez gained possession 25 yards out, then pressed up the left side as Jacob Hauser-Ramsey gave chase. Dominguez then fired a close-range shot to beat Christensen to give Montreal the 1-0 advantage.
In the opening moments of the second half, Seattle nearly equalized. Satoshi Chaffin put pressure on the Montreal defense and harried a defender into nearly knocking in an own-goal, but goalkeeper David Paulmin got to it to tip it away.
In the 53rd minute, those missed opportunities proved costly as Fabio Morelli made it 2-0 for Montreal, darting his way from right to left across the top of the 18 before turning a left-footed shot inside the post for a goal.
Seattle came close to pulling a goal back several times the rest of the way, but while the Sounders pressed numbers forward, they were caught on the counter attack in stoppage time. Montreal got a third goal from Samuel Duffek to put the match away with a 3-0 final.
The loss ends a successful season with a 20-5-6 record, ending the Academy careers of many of the players who played key roles for the U-18 team.
“It’s disappointing, but I’m proud of the season,” McCormick said. “It’s been a good group. They’re very mature and experienced. It’s been a lot of fun and we’ll get back at it here in August with new groups and we’ll look forward to that as well.”
Sounders FC – None.
Impact – Marco Dominguez 33; Fabio Morelli 53; Samuel Duffek 91+.
Sounders FC – None.
Impact – Mitchel Bringolf (caution) 35; Mastanabal Kacher (caution) 77.
Sounders FC – Paul Christensen, Isidro Prado-Huerta, Jacob Hauser-Ramsey, Matt Reinekka, Fischer Gallinger (Kasey French 46), Henry Wingo, Ryan DeGroot (Victor Mansaray 66), Duncan McCormick, Victor Rojas (Adeseyi Adekoya 54), David Olsen, Satoshi Chaffin.
Impact – David Paulmin, Simon Lemire (Zachary Sukunda 42), Mitchel Bringolf, Mele Temguia, Aron Mkungilwa, Mastanbal Kacher (Jonathan Vallee 80), Leonardo Kossaka, Heikel Jarras (Alexander Kulic, 54), Guillaume Trudel (Samuel Duffek 66), Fabio Morelli, Marco Dominguez (Nevello Yoseke 71).