Seattle Sounders Academy U-19 goalkeeper Sam Fowler has been called up to the United States U-19 men’s national team by Head Coach Dave van den Bergh for the upcoming Slovakia Cup, taking place from May 1-12 in Trnava, Slovakia.
Placed in Group B alongside the Czech Republic, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, the Stars and Stripes can advance directly to the Championship match — where they would face one of Azerbaijan, Hungary, Wales or Slovakia — by finishing atop their group. The U.S. U-19s won this event back in 2016, with current S2 midfielder Nick Hinds playing a key role throughout the tournament.
Fowler earned his first USYNT call-up in February 2017, receiving a special invitation to train with the U.S. U-17s on the back of his stellar USSDA campaign. Since that initial experience, the Issaquah native has made three total starts for S2 in USL competition in addition to attending the USYNT Summit Camp in Florida.
“This is Sam’s first international trip with the national team,” said Sounders FC Director of Player Development and Academy Director Marc Nicholls. “This is a very big step for him.”
Sam Fowler with the Sounders U-19s | Quinn Width
One of the first players to come through the Sounders Discovery Program, Fowler is the longest-tenured player in Sounders Academy. After beginning his youth career with Issaquah Soccer Club, the local product has developed into one of the top goalkeepers in the nation.
“Sam’s development has been a steady one, from U-12 in SDP all the way through to the U-19s,” said Nicholls. “In his first match for S2 this season, against Sacramento Republic on the road, he played very well.”
An excellent distributor of the ball and a dominant presence on crosses, Fowler has developed into a more well-rounded goalkeeper in recent seasons, improving his shot-stopping abilities and defensive organization. Since winning USSDA U-16 Western Conference Goalkeeper of the Year in 2017, Fowler has accelerated his development by competing for professional minutes with S2.
In his lone start for S2 this season, the 17-year-old goalkeeper nearly recorded a shutout against one of the top USL sides, Sacramento Republic, conceding just one goal from a penalty kick. Up against a high-pressing opponent, Fowler showcased his prowess with the ball at his feet, as he completed 82.9 percent of his passes and routinely broke lines of pressure.
The full schedule and roster for the U.S. U-19s can be found here.