The Sounders Academy U-17's are moving on to the Generation adidas Cup Final.
Billed as the preeminent youth competition in North America, GA Cup brings together every MLS academy and top international sides from South America and Europe. The Rave Green progressed out of a group featuring Austin FC, Charlotte FC and Santos Laguna before defeating the Philadelphia Union and Liga MX powerhouse CF Monterrey in the knockout rounds. The young Sounders followed up those stellar performances with another convincing outing on Saturday as they defeated Inter Miami 1-0 to advance to the championship match.
Seattle started out the match strong, with winger Alex Hall carving out a couple of chances for Antonio Herrera and Michael Luande through some clever dribbling and incisive passes. Hall then nearly grabbed the opening goal when his run inside the box was picked out by Snyder Brunnell, but his ensuing header crashed back off the crossbar.
It was much of the same after halftime, with the Sounders once again playing on the front foot. The Rave Green then took full control of proceedings when an Inter Miami player was sent off just minutes into the second half with a straight red card. The young Sounders eventually found the game-winning goal in the 49th minute when Chris Aquino calmly converted a penalty kick after a Miami defender had committed a hand ball inside the box.
Back in 2019, the Sounders became the first MLS academy to win the top flight of the GA Cup, defeating international clubs like River Plate, Flamengo, West Ham and Valencia en route to lifting the trophy. Due to COVID-19, the 2022 edition of GA Cup is the first time the tournament has occurred since they won the prestigious event three years ago. It's a testament to the sustainability of the club's player development pipeline that they have immediately returned to the GA Cup Final.
This year's iteration of GA Cup has been filled to the brim with top-class clubs from around the world such as Flamengo, AS Roma and Manchester United. Seattle has already defeated Mexican sides Santos Laguna and CF Monterrey and will have to win a third against Tigres UANL to bring home the trophy.
Glimpse Of The Future
Since its inception, GA Cup has been a showcase for the future of the Seattle Sounders. When the Rave Green won back in 2019, the squad was spearheaded by future Homegrown Players Danny Leyva, Josh Atencio, Reed Baker-Whiting, Ethan Dobbelaere and Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez. Sunday's final against Tigres UANL is an excellent opportunity to see the future stars of the First Team.