U.S. Soccer hosted its first U-14 Showcase Event of the year last month at the StubHub Center in Carson, CA. Showcase Events offer U.S. Soccer scouts the opportunity to identify and evaluate the youngest players in the nationwide academy system.
The Sounders FC U-14s received mixed results, coming away with a tie and loss before ending the November 15-16 weekend with a resilient win. On the first day of the event, the mixed group of players born in 2000 and 2001 played two 40-minute matches, beginning with a competitive nil-nil draw against Pateadores. The young Sounders returned just a few hours later to play a strong Strikers FC side, falling 4-0.
On Sunday the U-14s regrouped to face Real So Cal in an 80-minute match. After conceding early and entering halftime with a 2-0 deficit, the group rallied with a dominant second half en route to a 3-2 come-from-behind victory. The first goal came from a hard attacking run by defender Khai Brisco, who was eventually brought down in the box for a penalty kick, which midfielder Cameron Martin converted to put Seattle on the board.
Martin also had a hand in the second goal, breaking pressure in the midfield and then switching the point to Gabe Threadgold, who supplied a quality far post finish. The final goal started with great build-up play out of the back, with Martin again finding the final pass, this time to Sam Catherall who hit a 20-yard blast to earn the game-winning goal.
“It was a good test for the boys this weekend. They came through some adversity after being beaten badly on Saturday to find themselves 2-0 down on Sunday,” said Sounders FC Academy Technical Director Marc Nicholls. “We were pleased that we were placed against the Southern California teams that offer the best competition. This enabled us to grow and improve over the course of the weekend”.
This is the second year for the Sounders FC U-14 full-time program. The team trains four times per week and competes in the Far West Regional League, MLS events, as well as U.S. Soccer showcases. The team will also travel to Iceland and France this summer having been invited to compete against some of Europe’s best.