The U.S. U-17 men’s national team has called in four Seattle Sounders Academy standouts — Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez, Josh Atencio, Ray Serrano and Danny Robles — to compete in the Four Nations Tournament. Interim Head Coach Shaun Tsakiris named the quartet to the 20-man roster for the event in Mexico City, Mexico, running from Sept. 30 – Oct. 8, where they will face Argentina (Oct. 4), Mexico (Oct. 5) and Chile (Oct. 7).
In the last month alone, eight players from Sounders Academy have been called up to the U.S. U-16 and U-17 national teams, with four players coming through Sounders Discovery Program and four signing from official Partner and Affiliate Clubs.
“To have 20 percent of the roster for such a prestigious international trip come from the Seattle Sounders is a significant achievement,” said Sounders FC Director of Player Development and Academy Director Marc Nicholls. “Josh and Danny are a great example to the other boys in the Academy. They’ve had a little bit of a gap in their call-ups, but it’s a sign of their character that it’s driven them on to be re-called for such a significant event. The exposure that they’ve received with the U-17s winning the [USSDA national] championship, winning the Generation adidas Cup and [playing with] S2 has brought them more attention.”
Serrano, 16, has been in excellent form with the Academy, tallying six goals and four assists through the first five matches of the 2018-19 USSDA season. After receiving his first USYNT call-up to the Nike Friendlies in November 2017, the Moses Lake, Wash., native has participated in all nine camps for the U-17 national team since the start of the new cycle.
A mainstay on the USYNT circuit at the U-15 level, this is the first call-up to the U.S. U-17s for Robles, who can operate anywhere in the three central midfield spots. The Pac NW alum earned plenty of plaudits for his impressive professional debut with S2 on Sept. 5.
“We’re very pleased for the players, it shows that their hard word work, dedication and performances have been recognized,” said Sounders Academy Director of Coaching and U-17 Head Coach Chris Little. “With Alfonso and Ray, this has been a regular call-up for them, which is great and shows that they’re maintaining their performance levels with the national team.
“It’s really, really pleasing for Josh and Danny, who haven’t been in some of the more recent camps, to be re-called. They’ve performed very well for us in the Academy, and it’s great that they’re getting an opportunity to show what they can do for the national team.”
Ocampo-Chavez, a dynamic and clever No. 9 with an eye for goal, has made two USL appearances for S2 since the start of September, including a full 90 minutes against Sacramento Republic. In two matches with the U-17s this month, he has two goals and an assist.
Another prospect who has impressed with S2, 16-year-old box-to-box midfielder Atencio, will feature for the U.S. U-17s for the first time since a domestic camp in February. After featuring regularly for U.S. youth national teams at various age groups, Atencio’s performances for the Sounders U-17s and S2 have merited re-introduction to the group ahead of U-17 World Cup Qualifying.
The full roster and schedule for the trip can be found here.