Sounders Academy central midfielder Danny Leyva will make his first professional appearance with Sounders FC 2 this evening in a road match against San Antonio FC. Leyva, 15, is the youngest player in club history to start a USL match, topping the record set by his teammate, Ray Serrano, earlier in the season. He’s also the second-youngest player in USL history to start match, behind Los Dos player Efrain Alvarez.
Here's the S2 starting XI for #SAvSEA!— Seattle Sounders 2 (@SoundersFC2) September 29, 2018
GK: Jacob Castro (68)
RB: Denso Ulysse (36)
CB: Jalen Markey (96)
CB: Rodrigue Ele (92)
LB: Nick Hinds (31)
CM: Jesse Daley (89)
CM: Danny Leyva (40)
RM: Marlon Vargas (50)
AM: Shandon Hopeau (37)
LM: Azriel Gonzalez (38)
FW: Alec Diaz (48)
The Las Vegas native joined the club ahead of the 2017-18 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season. His performances with the Rave Green youth teams earned him his first-ever U.S. Youth National Team call-ups to the U.S. U-15 side last season. A dynamic, intelligent box-to-box midfielder, Leyva’s development for both club and country has been widely recognized, as he now captains the U.S. U-16 national team.
“We’ve been really pleased with Danny’s development,” said Sounders FC Director of Player Development and Academy Director Marc Nicholls. “He’s a rangy midfielder that has an eye for goal – scores and creates goals – and is very capable as a defensive player and ball-winner as well. He’s a highly intelligent player and has a maturity beyond his years in terms of his decision making.”
Playing with both the Sounders U-15 and U-17 teams last season, Leyva compiled 11 goals and 13 assists across all competitions. The promising prospect began playing two-years up with the U-17s during the first round of Generation adidas Cup, where he scored a goal in a 2-2 draw against the LA Galaxy. He played a crucial role for the U-17s as the team went on to win the GA Cup and USSDA national championship.
Through five matches in the 2018-19 season, Leyva has tallied two goals and one assist for the U-17s.