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Academy rolling with home sweep

Massive group effort fuels Sounders FC through cold, wet conditions.

TUKWILA, WA—Sounders FC Academy teams made strong returns to league play by sweeping Bay Area counterparts DeAnza Force and Santa Cruz Breakers over the weekend at Starfire Sports Complex. Dom Dismuke, Jordan Schweitzer (two goals apiece), and Ike Crook (two assists) led the way for the U18’s, while Duncan McCormick (two goals), Denis Kalamar (two goals), and Isrido Prado-Huerta (goal, two assists) provided the firepower for the U16’s as the cold, wet Pacific Northwest chills dropped the temperature as low as the high-20’s.

In Saturday’s double-header with DeAnza Force, the U18’s fell behind 1-0 in the 28th minute as a deflected shot went in for the visitors. However, the Sounders responded quickly and effectively when Jim Oganga dropped a bomb from 25 yards out in the 42nd minute. Just three minutes later, Crook found Dismuke for the winner and the U18’s emerged with a 2-1 win in a physical matchup.

In the later game, the U16’s got on the board early when McCormick scored in the 10th minute on a pass from Miguel Medina. Seattle then got two much-needed goals in the second half from Kalamar and Michael Steele before DeAnza found their stride. A slew of lineup changes resulted in two late goals for the visitors, but the Rave Green held on to the lead and won 3-2.

On Sunday, Santa Cruz proved to be no match for the Sounders squads. 

The U18’s led off with a commanding 5-0 win, headlined by a Schweitzer brace. Seattle saw early goals from Miles Rodriguez and Michael Gallagher before Schweitzer scored in the 45th and 75th. Dismuke made it 5-0 late when Odason Pelogi fed him with a nice ball across the goal. Credit the shutout to keepers Keenan Townsend and McKay Owsley. Owsley, who was recently added to the roster, came in and played the final 20 minutes.

The second game of the Santa Cruz double-header saw another strong Sounders outing as the U16’s won 5-2. Santa Cruz went up 1-0 in the 20th minute before Prado-Huerta hammered in an equalizer five minutes later on a Henry Wingo pass. Jason McGlothern put Seattle up 2-1 before halftime in the 39th when he nicely placed a free kick into the right side-netting. The second half was all Sounders. They got going when Prado-Huerta found David Olsen in the 65th to go up 3-1. A defensive miscue allowed the Breakers to cut the lead to 3-2, but late goals from McCormick and Kalamar sealed the deal for Seattle.

Over the weekend, the two Sounders FC Academy teams combined to go 4-0, outscore their opponents 15-5, see 11 different goal scorers (five for the U18’s, six for the U16’s), and have 19 total players record points (nine for the U18’s, ten for the U16’s).

The sweep continues a streak of strong play for the Rave Green. In a friendly matchup against the Victoria Highlanders on November 12, the U18’s came back from a 2-0 deficit in the second half to win 3-2 behind a brace from Dismuke and a game-winner in the 71st minute by Schweitzer. The U16’s cruised to a 6-0 win, led by a Medina brace and two assists from Kalamar.

Both squads are on a great run in league play—the U18’s are unbeaten in their last seven matches and the U16’s have won three straight. Both teams sit atop their respective Northwest Division in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy League. They next travel to Sarasota, Florida for the USSDA Winter Showcase from December 1-5.

Pre-Academy Update

After defeating Calgary Foothills 8-1 on November 11, the Sounders FC Pre-Academy dropped two straight matches, first a 4-1 loss to Idaho Thunder and then a 2-0 defeat Westsound FC. Both losses were to older opponents as the young Sounders look to continue their development. Credit Jamison Corbin with the goal in the Thunder matchup.