Sounders FC Academy enjoyed yet another successful weekend of USSDA competition, as all three squads travelled down to Portland for a series of Cascadia clashes. The young Sounders went unbeaten in all three matches, earning two wins and one draw while recording three clean sheets against the Timbers.
U-19: Sounders FC 1 at Portland Timbers 0 | September 30, 2017
U-17: Sounders FC 3 at Portland Timbers 0 | September 30, 2017
U-15: Sounders FC 0 at Portland Timbers 0 | September 30, 2017
In the first match of the weekend, the U-15s battled the hosts to a 0-0 draw with a roster featuring several prospects playing up an age group. Lined up in a 3-4-2-1, the young Sounders controlled proceedings for long stretches of the match by building attacks from the back and stringing together intricate passing sequences through midfield. Team captain Daniel Leyva put in another man-of-the-match performance at the heart of the Rave Green’s midfield, setting the tempo as a No. 6 before orchestrating the attack as a No. 10 in the second half.
Later that day, the U-17s continued their unbeaten start to the 2017-18 season, tallying three goals en route to a comprehensive victory over their rivals. Right back Christian Koontz opened the scoring off a corner kick in the 9th minute when Ray Serrano met the cross at the near-post and produced a flicked header to the back-post where Koontz, who started seven matches for Sounders FC 2 over the summer, prodded the ball into the back of the net. Substitute Ethan Dobbelaere then doubled Seattle’s advantage shortly before halftime, netting a first-time finish off a feed from left back Connor Drought. Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez wrapped up the scoring in the 73rd minute when Serrano won the ball back in midfield and quickly played him a through-ball, which the striker dispatched confidently.
The U-19s returned to winning ways after a pair of disappointing results the prior weekend, squeaking out a 1-0 win over their Cascadia rivals. While Portland enjoyed a brighter start to the first half, it was the visitors who struck first, with new signing RJ Stretch finding the back of the net in the 10th minute from a fantastic solo effort. Protecting a 1-0 lead, the Sounders’ defense, led by Khai Brisco, Sam Fowler and Sakari Carter, kept the Timbers at bay and preserved a vital clean sheet.
Sounders FC U-15 at Silicon Valley Soccer Academy U-15 | 2:30 p.m. PT, Sequoia Valley High School
Sounders FC U-17 at Silicon Valley Soccer Academy U-17 | 4:15 p.m. PT, Sequoia Valley High School
Sounders FC U-19 at Silicon Valley Soccer Academy U-19 | 6:00 p.m. PT, Sequoia Valley High School
Sounders FC U-15 at San Jose Earthquakes U-15 | 9:00 a.m. PT, Evergreen Community College
Sounders FC U-17 at San Jose Earthquakes U-17 | 11:15 a.m. PT, Evergreen Community College
Sounders FC U-19 at San Jose Earthquakes U-19 | 1:30 p.m. PT, Evergreen Community College
U-17 goalkeeper Bobby Harraka earns the honor this week for his stellar performance in the squad shutting out Portland on the road. With the defense largely restricting the hosts to shots from distance, Harraka showcased his solid handling and intelligent positioning whenever called upon. And he certainly earned his clean sheet, saving a penalty kick when the Timbers looked to be gaining momentum.
Moving on Up
Striker Austin Brummett, 13, has become a mainstay up top for the U-15s this season, and he put in yet another solid shift this weekend against the Timbers. Despite playing up an age group, Brummett was excellent in his hold-up play all afternoon, battling center backs and allowing Seattle’s midfielders to push forward into the attack. Although he didn’t get on the scoresheet, the young striker carved out a few quality chances in the closing stages of the game with some clever 1-2 passing combinations and his off-the-ball movement.
“A very pleasing part of the weekend was that none of our teams conceded a goal, that’s difficult in 4.5 hours of soccer. While we were pleased with results, the staff felt that we could have played better across the board. It was very nice for the U-19s to pick up a win, because their performances last weekend deserved points. While it’s nice to beat the rivals, we still have the high expectations for our teams, and consistently performing at a high level is something we prioritize over results.” -- Academy Technical Director Marc Nicholls