All three Seattle Sounders Academy squads returned to USSDA league action at home last weekend, rattling off a 2-1-1 record against the Sacramento Republic and Ballistic United. While the results didn’t line up with the performances, it was a positive weekend for the young Sounders as they gear up for the home stretch of the academy season.
- Sounders FC 2 vs. Sacramento Republic 0 | February 10
- Sounders FC 1 vs. Sacramento Republic 1 | February 10
- Sounders FC 1 vs. Sacramento Republic 2 | February 10
- Sounders FC 6 vs. Ballistic United 1 | February 11
Despite a disappointing loss to the Republic on Saturday, in which Austin Brummett scored the lone goal for the Sounders from the penalty spot, the U-15s stormed back with a dominant win over Ballistic United on Sunday. Striker Oscar Rincon, midfielder Thai Wichienwitdtaya and Brummett each recorded a brace in the match, while 12-year-old Angel Martinez put in a commanding shift at center back. Midfielder Danny Leyva, who played for the U-17s the day before, came on at halftime and immediately flipped the game on its head, pitching in two assists within three minutes of entering the match.
The U-17s came flying out of the gates on Saturday against the Republic, stringing together some fantastic attacking sequences and putting constant pressure on goal. Winger Marlon Vargas’ composed ‘panenka’ penalty kick in the 39th minute handed the young Sounders the lead, but the visitors equalized from a corner kick just minutes into the second half. In search of a winner, the Sounders carved out several quality chances but were unable to apply the finishing touch.
Though the U-19s dominated for long stretches of the match, they struggled to find the breakthrough goal. That all changed when long-time Sounders Academy midfielder Woody Manum scored his first goal for the club, heading home Azriel Gonzalez’s inswinging cross. Substitute Gabe Threadgold doubled Seattle’s advantage just four minutes later, drifting past three defenders on the left side and sliding his shot just inside the near post.
The U-15s and U-17s are in California this weekend for the Generation adidas Cup. The full schedule for all six matches can be found here.
“I was pleased with Roger Pulido. As one of our center backs, he provided good willingness and timing for when he stepped up and pressured the ball. [Wingbacks] Khai Brisco and Jake Morris put in a pretty intense workload and helped keep the backline excellent throughout the match. We have a unique ability to protect our goal every game.” — U-19 Head Coach Mike Morris
Across all four games over the weekend, the Sounders rolled out three different formations: a 3-4-3, a 4-1-4-1 and a 4-3-3. Holistic understanding of various tactical schemes is an important aspect of the Sounders Academy curriculum.