Three Seattle Sounders Academy players — forward Azriel Gonzalez, goalkeeper Trey Muse and holding midfielder Sota Kitahara — have been called up to the U.S. youth national team for their respective age groups.
“The international call-ups keep coming for our boys and we are proud that so many of them are getting to play overseas against some of the best in the world,” said Sounders Academy Technical Director Marc Nicholls. “It's also reassuring to us that the selections are placed around multiple age groups.”
Muse, 18, was named to the 20-man roster by U-18 USMNT head coach Omid Namazi for the 2017 Lisbon International Tournament, which runs from June 8-19 in Lisbon, Portugal. The Stars and Stripes will face Japan, Portugal and Norway in a four-team, round-robin tournament. Each nation will play three games and the squad with the most points will take home the title.
This is Muse’s fifth call-up, all of which have come in the two years since he joined the Rave Green youth system. He received his first official cap back in April in the Slovakia Cup, earning a 2-1 victory over Belarus. An incoming freshman for college soccer powerhouse Indiana University, Muse will compete for the starting job for the U.S. U-18s in Portugal.
Gonzalez, 16, was named to the 20-man roster by U-16 head coach Shaun Tsakaris for the International Dream Cup, which runs from June 6-19 in Sendai, Japan. In an identical format to the Lisbon International Tournament, the U.S. will face Guinea, Japan and the Netherlands, and the team with the most points in the four-team group will be crowned champions.
A standout for the Sounders Academy U-16s and U-18s, Gonzalez has become a consistent contributor for Sounders FC 2, earning his first assist in a professional match in S2’s 3-0 win over LA Galaxy II. This is his second consecutive call-up for an international tournament and third call-up in 2017 alone.
Kitahara, 14, was named to the 20-man roster by U-14 head coach Clint Peay for an international camp in Zagreb, Croatia, running from May 31-June 9. During the camp, the squad will play five friendlies against Bosnia and Croatia as well as Croatian club Dinamo Zagreb. An intelligent and tough-tackling defensive midfielder, this is Kitahara’s second call-up to the U.S. U-14s and first international trip. With Sounders Academy, Kitahara regularly plays three years up on the U-16 team.