Academy

United States U-20 national team calls in S2 center back Sam Rogers, Sounders U-19 left back Jake Morris

For the fourth time in a month, a pair of prospects from the Seattle Sounders youth system has been called up to represent the United States. Sounders FC 2 center back Sam Rogers, who signed directly from the Academy in 2017, and U-19 left back Jake Morris were named to the 25-player roster by Head Coach Tab Ramos for a 12-day camp in Spain.


The event will run from March 17-28 and features a pair of friendlies against the France U-20 team as well as an exhibition match against the Atlético Madrid U-21s .


Given their elite talent and high ceilings, the U-20 call-ups for Rogers and Morris come as no surprise. At just 18 years old, Rogers will serve as S2’s vice captain for the 2018 season, a clear indication of the club’s faith in his long-term potential. Morris, who recently returned from a nine-month injury layoff, has been in scorching form for the Rave Green U-19s, scoring three goals in his last six outings.


“It’s a massive opportunity for Sam and Jake (below),” said Sounders FC Director of Player Development and Academy Director Marc Nicholls. “We’re very pleased for both players. Jake had a bit of a long-term injury and has come back fitter and stronger than ever, a very impressive recovery. Sam made 25 USL starts last year, and continues to go grow and improve, he’s really earned a lot of praise in terms of the way he plays as a ball-playing center back.”

United States U-20 national team calls in S2 center back Sam Rogers, Sounders U-19 left back Jake Morris -

While any chance to represent the U.S. is certainly an honor for Sounders Academy players, the call-ups to the U-20 USMNT hold particular importance. The squad is still in the early stages of its two-year cycle, so if the boys perform well in camp, they’ll position themselves for inclusion in CONCACAF U-20 World Cup qualifying.


“It’s about more than just this camp,” said Nicholls. “If they go and play well against France and Atletico Madrid, that could mean a potential World Cup.”


A key component of the Sounders’ philosophy is that in order to develop elite players, they must be exposed to the highest levels of competition. It’s why the club elects to compete in events like the Youdan Trophy, Manchester City Cup and Generation adidas Cup.


If Rogers and Morris can translate their stellar showings in Rave Green to the international level, they’ll get opportunities, like the U-20 World Cup, to test themselves against the best and brightest young players on the planet.


“Talent is too rare to stand still, and I think that’s kind of been our mantra,” said Nicholls. “With Sam electing to play for S2 and play in these professional matches, his development has been able to accelerate. He’s been tried and tested each day and in each match that he plays.”


The full roster for the camp can be found here.

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