It was a mixed weekend of results for Sounders Academy, as all three squads hit the road for a series of matches against the Portland Timbers, securing a 1-1-1 record against their Cascadia rival.
- Sounders FC 3 at Portland Timbers 3 | February 24
- Sounders FC 3 at Portland Timbers 1 | February 24
- Sounders FC 1 at Portland Timbers 2 | February 24
Though the U-15s were unable to secure a result, the group can take solace from the performance, as several players produced fantastic individual displays and the attack carved out several quality chances. Midfielder Edgar Serrano, who captained the side, maintained his excellent from from Generation adidas Cup, setting the tempo of the match with his metronomic passing. Austin Brummett, a dynamic No. 9, got on the scoresheet with a powerful shot from the edge of the box, scoring his 10th goal from 14 league games.
In the next match, the U-17s came flying out of the gates with a dominant performance. Winger Marlon Vargas continued his sublime form by bagging a brace against the Timbers. While his first strike was a stunning individual effort, his second came from an intricate combination play in the box with midfielder Ethan Dobbelaere. Striker Alec Diaz rounded out the scoring with a tally in the 71st minute, his ninth goal in 12 league games this season.
In the final match of the weekend, the U-19s battled to a 3-3 draw against the Timbers. Lined up in a 3-4-3, the young Sounders secured plenty of attacking verve down the flanks, with both winkbacks, Jake Morris and Khai Brisco, finding the back of the net. After missing a large chunk of the 2017-18 season through injury, Morris continued his excellent return to fitness, scoring a brace from two composed finishes.
- Sounders FC U-15 vs. Silicon Valley SA U-15 | 10:00 a.m. PT, Starfire Sports, Field 2
- Sounders FC U-17 vs. Silicon Valley SA U-17 | 12:30 p.m. PT, Starfire Sports, Field 2
- Sounders FC U-19 vs. Silicon Valley SA U-19 | 3:00 p.m. PT, Starfire Sports, Field 2
- Sounders FC U-15 vs. San Jose Earthquakes U-15 | 9:30 a.m. PT, Starfire Sports, Field 2
- Sounders FC U-17 vs. San Jose Earthquakes U-17| 12:00 p.m. PT, Starfire Sports, Field 2
- Sounders FC U-19 vs. San Jose Earthquakes U-19 | 3:00 p.m. PT, Starfire Sports, Field 2
Brisco Thriving in New Wingback Role
This season, Khai Brisco has made the transition from a stalwart center back to an outside back. With the U-19s’ move to a three-man back line, Brisco has been tasked with manning the flanks as a wingback.
“In our system I think he’s good as a right wingback because he can cover the ground, and his athletic ability allows us to open up the game and stretch into the attack,” said U-19 Head Coach Michael Morris. “If the opponent has a sustained bit of possession, he’s able to tuck into the back line and act as another layer because he has that ability as a center back and as an outside back.”
Doubleheader at Home
“Saturday we'll play against Silicon Valley, who have some very good individual players,” said Sounders FC Director of Player Development and Academy Director Marc Nicholls. “On Sunday, it's always nice to face other MLS clubs -- in this case San Jose -- since it provides us a valuable litmus test as to where we are."
Goal of the Weekend
U-17 winger Marlon Vargas had an absolute field day against the Timbers, recording a brace and providing plenty of thrust down the left flank. While both goals were excellent, his first -- a thunderous, swerving volley to the back post -- was truly special.