Generation adidas Cup is just around the corner.
The premier youth soccer tournament in North America, GA Cup brings together every MLS academy, plus a select few of the top youth teams from around the world at the Toyota Soccer Center in Frisco, Tex.
GA Cup opportunity for the future Homegrown stars of Major League Soccer to showcase their talents while going head-to-head with some of the top prospects in the global game.
Beginning on April 9, the Sounders Academy U-15 and U-17 teams will compete in three group stage games. Each team at the tournament is guaranteed a minimum of seven matches.
The international contingent for this year’s edition of GA Cup includes clubs like Manchester United, FC Porto, A.S. Roma, Tigres UANL, Monterrey and Celtic FC.
“In the form of a world-class competition, Generation adidas Cup provides the stage to introduce and showcase the next generation of stars from MLS academies and top clubs around the globe,” MLS Vice President of Player Youth and Development Fred Lipka said in a release. "The expansion of the field to 80 teams will only heighten the level of competition, and we are excited to see our MLS academies competing head-to-head with many of the top international programs.”
Sounders Academy has a rich history of success at GA Cup. Back in 2018, the young Sounders won the Premier Division – the second tier of the tournament – by defeating the New York Red Bulls in the final. One year later, the Rave Green once again brought home silverware, this time becoming the first-ever MLS side to win the top-flight Champions Division, defeating international powerhouses from Brazil, Argentina, England and Spain.
“The biggest takeaway from that 2019 group that won GA Cup is we played Valencia, West Ham, Flamengo and River Plate and we were right there with them,” said Sounders FC VP of Player Development Henry Brauner. “Ultimately, it's a massive benchmarking event for us to see where we fit in a global space from a developmental perspective, but also seeing if we’re comparable with the world’s elite clubs in the developmental sphere.”
11 players from the 2019 Sounders Academy squad are now playing professionally across American soccer: Josh Atencio (Seattle Sounders), Ethan Dobbelaere (Seattle Sounders), Danny Leyva (Seattle Sounder), Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez (Seattle Sounders), Reed Baker-Whiting (Seattle Sounders), Chris Hegardt (Charlotte FC), Sota Kitahara (Tacoma Defiance), Eric Kinzner (Tacoma Defiance), Ray Serrano (Louisville City FC), Alex Villanueva (Orange County SC) and Danny Robles (Northern Colorado Hailstorm).
“You’re starting to see some of the guys that we played against with the U-17s back at 2019 GA Cup, now we’re playing against them in MLS,” said Brauner. “They’re also playing for their national teams, so these players are also playing against them on an international stage. It’s cool to see the progression of all the players.”
You can find Sounders Academy’s full schedule below. For more information on the tournament, click HERE.
Sounders Academy Players to Watch:
Stuart Hawkins (Defender, 2006), Jayson Castillo (Defender, 2006), Snyder Brunell (Midfielder, 2007), Etienne Veillard (Forward, 2007), Antonio Herrera (Midfielder, 2005).
- Sporting Kansas City U-15 vs. Sounders Academy U-15 (8 p.m. CT; Field 5)
- Sounders Academy U-17 vs. Charlotte FC U-17 (11:00 a.m. CT; Field 8)
- Sounders Academy U-15 vs. Celtic FC U-15 (7:00 p.m. CT; Field 6)
- Austin FC U-17 vs. Sounders Academy U-17 (3:00 p.m. CT; Field 5)
- Sounders Academy U-15 vs. Austin FC U-15 (9:00 p.m. CT; Field 7)
- Santos Laguna U-17 vs. Sounders Academy U-17 (1:00 p.m. CT; Field 3)