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Acadmey Snapshot: Young Seattle Sounders thriving in early USSDA season

It has been a successful couple of weeks for all four Seattle Sounders Academy teams, with the Rave Green compiling an 8-0-0 record, including a pair of wins over their Cascadia rivals, Portland Timbers. The young Sounders will look to maintain their momentum at the upcoming USSDA Winter Showcase in Lakewood Ranch, Fla.

Recent Results

U-19:

Sounders FC 2 vs. Nomads SC 1 | Nov. 11

Sounders FC 3 vs. San Diego Surf 2 | Nov. 12

U-17:

Sounders FC 8 vs. Nomads SC 1 | Nov. 11

Sounders FC 2 vs. San Diego Surf 0 | Nov. 12

U-16:

Sounders FC 1 vs. Pac NW U-18 0 | Nov. 11

Sounders FC 4 vs. Portland Timbers 0 | Nov. 19

U-15:

Sounders FC 6 vs. Nomads SC 1 | Nov. 11

Sounders FC 4 vs. San Diego Surf 0 | Nov. 12

Sounders FC 4 vs. Portland Timbers 0 | Nov. 19

The oldest members of the Rave Green youth system, the U-19s, extended their unbeaten run to seven matches with a pair of wins over Nomads and Surf. After conceding one minute into the second half against Nomads, the young Sounders equalized through Azriel Gonzalez in the 60th minute, assisted by Dylan Teves after the winger dribbled through several defenders. Teves then grabbed the winner just three minutes later when Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez skinned two defenders and slid a pass across the six-yard box for an easy tap-in.

With momentum firmly in their favor, the U-19s garnered yet another win over San Diego Surf the next day. The young Sounders executed a high press from the opening whistle, consistently winning the ball back in the opponent’s half. Bobby Stoyanov, RJ Stretch and Gabe Threadgold grabbed the goals for the Rave Green, with Gio Migletti and Stretch providing assists.

The U-17s maintained their unbeaten status in the 2017-18 USSDA season with a couple of comfortable victories, improving their overall league record to 10-0-1. In the 8-1 win over Nomads SC, a total of five different Seattle players got on the score sheet with Alec Diaz, Marlon Vargas and Camilo Santiago each grabbing a brace. After the 2-0 victory over Surf the next day, the young Sounders moved atop the Western Conference and into third place overall in the USSDA.

After earning a 1-0 win over Portland Timbers back in September, the U-15s made it two wins from two with a commanding 4-0 result on Saturday. Midfielder Ethan O’Brien broke the deadlock in the 21st minute, pouncing on a rebound when the Portland GK palmed away Davis Noblat’s free-kick. Sintayheu Clements doubled the advantage shortly after halftime, and an own goal in the 75th minute made it 3-0 to the hosts. Kevin Soltys made it 4-0 in the final minute of the game with a composed, powerful finish to the far post.

Much like the U-17s, the U-15 squad continued their unbeaten start to the USSDA campaign, rattling off three comfortable wins over Nomads, Surf and the Timbers. Missing two key players, Danny Leyva and Nico Rei McMillan, through national team duty, the young Sounders promoted several prospects from the Sounders Discovery Program. In total, six SDP players suited up against Portland, and the kids stepped up with a composed performance in the 4-0 win.

Upcoming Fixtures

Nov. 30

  • Sounders FC U-19 vs. Atlanta United U-19 | 2 p.m. PT, Premier Sports Campus - Field 1

Dec. 1

  • Sounders FC U-17 vs. Montreal Impact U-17 | 12 p.m. PT, Premier Sports Campus - Field 8
  • Sounders FC U-19 vs. New York Red Bull U-19 | 4:15 p.m. PT, Premier Sports Campus - Field 3

Dec. 2

  • Sounders FC U-17 vs. Philadelphia Union U-17 | 11 a.m. PT, Premier Sports Campus - Stadium

Dec. 3

  • Sounders FC U-19 vs. PDA U-19 | 9 a.m. PT, Premier Sports Campus - Field 13

Dec. 4

  • Sounders FC U-17 vs. Crew SC Academy Wolves | 9 a.m. PT, Premier Sports Campus - Field 12

Standout Performers

Attacking midfielder Danny Robles grabbed man-of-the-match honors in the U-17s’ win over Surf, scoring both goals in the 2-0 win. His first was a truly special effort, ghosting past a defender before chipping the goalkeeper from 22 yards out. In the second half, Robles provided a moment of magic when he dribbled past two defenders, rounded the goalkeeper and calmly passed the ball into the back of the net.

For Club and Country

Three Sounders Acanemy players —Sota Kitahara, McMillan and Leyva — recently participated in a U.S. U-15 boys National team camp. This week, S2 midfielder Azriel Gonzalez, who starred for the U-19s against Nomads and Surf, received his first call-up to the U.S. U-18 YNT. Gonzalez, 16, signed with S2 directly from the Academy over the summer, making him the youngest signing in club history.

Coach’s Take

“The results this weekend were very good, and there were some good individual performances,” said Academy Technical Director Marc Nicholls. “But it’s really important for us to not just look at the results as we need to hold the players accountable for their performances. They need to maintain the high standards that we have for them, and that they have for themselves.”

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