Academy splits in opening weekend

Academy U16 and U18 teams traveled to Los Angeles this weekend and each went 1-1 to start the US Soccer Developmental Academy (USSDA) season.

LOS ANGELES - Sounders FC Academy U16 and U18 teams traveled to Los Angeles this weekend and each went 1-1 to start the US Soccer Developmental Academy (USSDA) season. Both squads took home a win on Saturday against Real So Cal, but both came up short against Arsenal on Sunday.

On Saturday at Pierce College, U16 Sounders FC captain Jalen Markey scored a goal and assisted another as they took down Real So Cal 3-1. Markey’s goal came in the 24th minute on a penalty kick after Michael Steele was fouled in the box. Abdi Abdullah added a goal in his Academy debut after weaving through the defense to put Sounders FC up 2-0. After giving up a So Cal goal in the 68th minute, Markey found forward James Nosack in the late in the 80th minute to seal the 3-1 victory.

The U18 Sounders FC squad looked just as impressive on Saturday in a 3-0. Ian Lange took advantage of a Real So Cal hand ball in the box in the 10th minute and converted a penalty kick to go up 1-0. Forward Dom Dismuke then scored twice—once right before the half and again right before the game’s end—both from assists from Aaron Kovar. Keeper Keenan Townsend picked up the shutout for Sounders FC.

On Sunday, the academy teams went to Mt. San Antonio College to face a strong opponent in Arsenal, an American-affiliate of the popular British club. The U16’s lost 3-1 after giving up goals in the 17th, 70th, and 78th before Markey scored on a penalty kick to break the shutout.

The U18’s fared slightly better on Sunday in an intense, physical game. They started strong when Lange headed in an Austin Sweeney free kick in the 23rd minute to go up 1-0. Arsenal tied the game in the 25th minute on a long-range goal in the upper corner. Townsend protected the lead before half, saving a penalty kick in the 29th minute, and the teams went into halftime locked at one goal apiece. After the break, Arsenal was able to score in the 69th minute as the Sounders were pushing forward, and the game was sealed when defender Travis Strawn mis-hit a ball that resulted in an own-goal in the 76th minute. Arsenal held on to win 3-1.

Sounders FC U18 captain Michael Gallagher dislocated his elbow in the 20th minute on Saturday and was lost for the weekend. After going to hospital to have the elbow reset, Gallagher was in great spirits through the remainder of the weekend.

Sounders FC Academy plays next on October 2nd against Crossfire at Redmond High School. The U18’s play at 4:30 and the U16’s at 7:00.