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Omar Hassan earns MVP honors at Vlatko Marković Tournament 

16x9 omar hassan

All eyes were on Omar Hassan at the Vlatko Marković tournament after the Sounders Academy winger showcased a round of standout performances that ultimately supported the U.S. U-15 team toward a championship win over Japan on May 19. 

So much so, he was named MVP of the five-day event. 

“It meant everything to me,” said Hassan.

The 14-year-old kicked off the tournament strong, tallying a brace in the U.S.’s matchup against England. While it resulted in a 4-3 loss, the USYNT managed to solidify wins over Croatia and Morocco, before securing the tournament title with Hassan’s lone goal in the final. 

His MVP honors and overall impact at the tournament came as no surprise for Sounders U-15 Head Coach Brayton Knapp.

“Omar is a threat because of his pace and ability to continually run at defenders, whether he has the ball or whether he's defending,” said Knapp. “And so I think that led to a lot of his success at the event from some of his goals being 1-v-1 actions or coming off of pressing defenders.” 

Hassan believes his prior training with the Sounders prepared him for the international showcase.

“I think having me play up with U-17’s and training with [Tacoma] Defiance really showed that the Sounders really want to help me improve and it’s really helped me develop a lot,” said Hassan.

On the flipside, Marković’s tournament itself benefits Hassan and his game as he transitions back to competing with the Seattle team.

“Anytime the players play against international competition, when they're with the national teams, it adds a new level of competition for them,” said Knapp. “So it pushes them as an individual and it also raises the expectations here about what their performances can be.”

Hassan hopes his experience in Croatia will better his teammates in Seattle as well.

“Going back, I'm always going to be humble and try to get my teammates to just try to always have intensity at training and motivate my teammates more [to show them] anything is possible.”

To earn MVP honors at an international level is a monumental achievement at any age, and with Hassan’s commitment to continue growing in the game, the best is yet to come.

“He's very hard working, and he's dedicated to improving,” said Knapp. “And I think that hard work and his ability to come and focus each day is what's ultimately led him to be successful within the academy so far.”



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